June 23, 2014

On Donating Books

From The Uncommon Criminal by Kyle De Wolf (author's profile)


Kyle De Wolf

I decided to donate more books to the prison library.

I used to accumulate books. Whenever I had enough to fill up a flat-rate box, I would send them home.

However, it has slowly dawned on me that I seldom re-read books. It costs me a lot of money in postage to send them home. Other inmates may benefit more from reading them that I would from keeping them.

Yet it is hard for me to let go of possessions.

Today I decided to donate Sober Living for the Revolution.

Virginia Druhe sent it to me several months ago. She told me that I did not have to pay for it. She told me to just pay it forward.

There are many inmates who have struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction. I hope that it will inspire one of them as much as it did me.

I do not wish to cling to possessions, yet it is difficult to give a book to the universe, especially when I do not know what will happen to it.

Will it be read and enjoyed? Will it be discarded or destroyed?

Yet if I keep a book in a box in the back of a shed, it will have no power to work its magic. A book hidden in a closet is mute, robbed of its voice.

I hope that books given in good faith will go out there and change the world, one rainy day at a time.


Replies (1) Replies feed

lru Posted 5 years, 5 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 5 months ago   Favorite
On giving away books....

I find that surprisingly few books are ones that I want to keep to re-read over and over and over.

There are lots that are interesting, but easily ignored.

There are others that are have some very useful points. For these, it often suffices to take notes on these high points, record the title and author, and then give the book away. It is easier to go back later and reference those special comments this way, when I have my own notes. And it is easier to share those insights with others. And it takes up less space, while sharing the book.

If I am diligent in recording my notes as I read the book, at the end, it is easy to let the book go. I'm not always that diligent though.

And then there are books that are almost completely insightful, or completely entertaining. Where taking notes would be useless, because I'd just have to copy the whole book. :-) Those are the ones I tend to keep so far.

I also find that there is so much new stuff coming at me, and often it comes at the exact time I need it, that hanging onto old books just weighs me down.

- Chris

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