A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Giving Away Books


I had some already-read books I wanted to be rid of.  I don’t care to be hauling around stuff I don’t need.  I found the town of Del Rio south of us had a couple of Little Free Libraries.  I’d leave them there when we leave San Pedro Campground.  Then as the days passed I didn’t like the idea of driving around a neighborhood trying to find the bookstands.  I thought why not give them to someone here in the campground?
And so it began.

 I walked on over to this couple behind us.  “Would you be interested in a couple of books?” 
The lady asked me if they were in French or Spanish?  “We don’t read English.”
Well this threw me.  “Where are you from?” I asked.
They were from Quebec.  They thanked me anyway and I walked away thinking.
No doubt they can read English well enough for most purposes but to sit down and read a book,  that’s a whole different story.  I could probably get by reading Spanish in getting around but to sit down and read a book in Spanish, I don’t think so.  I just never thought about it before.

Next I hit up my closest neighbor, Don.  Nice guy from Louisiana/Mississippi.  I thought by the looks of things he had been on the road a long time like us.  But no, he had just started out last year.  I envied him for he has a Honda 1300 motorcycle in the trailer.  I wish I had a motorcycle.  Anyway, I had to ask him how old he was hoping for some number in his sixties.  NO!  The guy is 73.  He asked my age and I said “I have a year on you”.  He comes back with “Well my birthday is tomorrow in fact.”  And here he is with a nice motorcycle to ride around on and I’m thinking those days are over for me.  Now get this...he just had gall bladder surgery the previous week.  He has to see the doctor for a followup in a week.  The doctor is at the VA Hospital in San Antonio, 150 miles away.  “I’ll ride the bike there.  Easier and cheaper than taking the truck.”  Anyway, it was his birthday the day I was trying to get rid of the books.  I knocked on his door.  “Happy Birthday Don.  Would you like a couple of books?
“Oh I don’t read books but thank you anyway sir.”
I walked away again thinking...who doesn’t read books?  I just thought everyone did but maybe the reality is there are probably more people out there who do not read books than do.  What do you think?
Anyway, I was having a real hard time getting rid of these books.
Incidentally, I rarely see Don outside.  If he doesn’t read books, what does he do in there all day? 

Finally I noticed the couple in front the French Canadians had returned from their bicycle ride.  I’d go over there.  My goodness!  They were from Quebec also.  Fortunately they read English books and were happy to have my books.  Then the lady asked about Beans.  They had seen us out walking.  Well they had a cat too but I never saw it.  Inside sleeping.  But the lady wanted to meet Beans.  So we walked on over, me hoping Beans would be sociable.

Beans had been watching me out the window and was all too eager to come out when we arrived.
Nellie thought Beans was so soft, asking me if ‘soft’ was the right word.  I had to tell her a couple times her name was Beans.  I think she was mishearing me.  Who names a cat that?  Then she got it.  I asked how you say Beans in French.  I didn’t catch it.  (I just looked it up.  Haricots)  I’m not sure if that is what she said or not.  I’m not good with French accents.  I wished I had asked their cat’s name.

I asked her if it is difficult bringing a cat into the US.  Surprisingly she said it was not a problem.  The problem comes when they try to bring their cat back into Canada.  Lots of paperwork is required and they cannot bring any cat food in that was purchased in the States.  

So I got rid of my books and Beans was sociable with company.
It was a win-win day for me.


Debby said...

I know there are lots of people who do not read books. I, too, consider it strange.

I do not keep books after I've read them either. It's a relatively new thing for me. I used to read the books and keep them. Then I moved on to read the books and keep them if they are really, really good so that I can read them again. And then I moved on to accepting the fact that I will never read them again, and getting rid of them as soon as I have read them. We have free book boxes all over the place. I just pop them in there.

Debby said...

But then again, that's how I miss meeting people from Quebec.

Kathe said...

You are the Santa Claus of Book Readers. What a wonderful way to spread cheer!

Damselfly said...

Being a lifelong reader in a family of readers, I find it strange when I meet someone who doesn't read books.
Every cat I've known who resembled Beans has had soft, velvety fur, and I've always assumed Beans' fur was soft & velvety. 😊
Nice to hear Beans was sociable and allowed Nellie to pet her.
Stay safe & well.

Barbara Rogers said...

Great...met all those Canadians and gave away your books! Being on the road does limit the space one has for books. For my big road trip in 75 I read "Zen and the The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." I didn't like the last part. Maybe I wasn't Zen enough.

Upriverdavid said...

All through school I was too small, too slow etc. to do any good in sports. I could read up a storm though. I still average about one book a week.
We have an excellent library system and someone got smart and have started stocking books in LARGE print.
My eyes seemed to have aged.......