I have 27 new books!
I would rarely be willing to spend a long time in a queue if it wasn’t for something very dear or interesting to me. So you would know how much I love books when you know that I spent an hour in the queue this morning at the inaugural Book Exchange by the National Library. It’s quite an ingenious idea and here’s how it works: You bring books that you want to give away, exchange them for coupons, which can be used to choose other people’s books. Basically it is like barter trade, with books as the only commodity item and the National Library as the facilitator. So last week as I was packing out some old books I didn’t mind giving away to get new (well, not new, but you know) books, my mum was pleasantly surprised…that is, until I told her that I could exchange these for other books! (In fact, I came back with books that were bulkier than those I gave away, so they actually take up more space…)
So there I was, perspiring in today’s sweltering weather, jostling with the crowd (which was really encouraging to see so many book-lovers of all ages, shapes and sizes) and looking for books when I discovered that there were really wonderful books around such as ‘Doubt: A History’ by Jennifer Michael Hecht and ‘In Search of Modern China’ by Jonathan Spence. If not for the fact that I already have those books, I would have grabbed them! In fact, there is a technique of scanning for book titles (yes, you can tell I am well-trained after endless MPH and Popular book sales at the Expo) and you can see my eyes light up when I see a good book. It’s really like finding a diamond in the sand! (or an old map for sale in a second-hand bookstore, but that’s another story for another blog entry altogether) And I think it also helps when someone tells you if he or she enjoyed a particular, like I did to a lady who picked up Lee Strobel’s ‘The Case for Faith’, flipped through it and placed it back into the trolley. But I whispered to her, “That’s an excellent book,” and she looked at me and asked, “Really?” before picking the book up again and putting it in her basket. =) I hope I helped someone embark on her faith journey this morning!
And did I mention that I have 27 new books?