Friday, 4 November 2011

Katherine Roberts said that the idea of

rescuing books reminded her of Follyfoot Farm - the farm of Monica Dickens fame where unwanted horses are cared for and loved. Katherine said "I am now imagining a sort of Follyfoot Farm downunder, where dog-eared books graze in green fields creaking a little at the spine..." and yes, I suppose rescuing books is a little like that.
There is a branch of "Vinnies" near us - St Vincent de Paul. It is a large place, much larger than most charity shops. At the rear there is a large and extremely well organised book section. It is laid out just as a book shop might be. There is fiction along one wall. There is non-fiction opposite going around a corner of the room to more non-fiction and a section for children. There are old records, CDs and other items in the centre.
In winter the place is warm. In summer it is cool. There are always people browsing and reading. The "dealers" wander in and out too. The shop has a reputation. They can browse along the shelves rapidly for items to resell.
I know the man who looks after that section of the shop. He knows me. He will sometimes put aside things he thinks I might be interested in knowing about. There is no expectation I will actually buy these things but he knows I might know a child who wants their own copy of a particular book. He would rather see the book go to someone who wants it than a dealer buying in the hope that they can resell.
Sometimes I buy books too of course. They are used but they are cheaper than they would be from a dealer - and they are often in surprisingly good condition. A charity benefits too.
I came across my copy of Follyfoot that way - although I do not think I see it except momentarily. Some child is always reading it. It is a mere paperback version and I suspect it will eventually fall to pieces through being over-loved. It has been repaired at least twice. It does not matter. I will endeavour to find another copy in another secondhand book store, preferably a charity store.
I like to think of the books in Vinnies or on my own shelves talking to one another at night, perhaps having a bit of a party and reminiscing about their authors and readers. Perhaps some of them are like old gentleman at a "club" having a post-prandial doze.
I would like to buy all my books new so that authors had the benefit of a royalty payment. It is not going to happen. Most of the books I collect are long out of print. Rescuing them is important.


widdershins said...

Heavens to Murgatroyd!!! I remember Follyfoot farm! wow, is that a blast from my past, or what!!!

Anonymous said...

I love new books ... but it is always wonderful to find something which has been preloved, or even unloved, in an op shop at a wonderful price.

Judy B