Community Giving

I don’t get as involved in my community as I would like. The last year has been a busy one for me since I worked two jobs for a while – it was a year of “working on my career” I guess you could say. I am always looking at the local volunteering website wondering what I can do to give back but what I would like to do – volunteer with the elderly – often requires a year-long commitment and I don’t want to commit myself to anything that is going to require my attention after April. Well, endocrinologist anything other than the Wrackspurt obviously.

The Mister and I often have discussions about community. It seems to us that friends who don’t have any sense of community responsibility seem kind of lost. They tend to spend more time acquiring things than doing things – but that could just be my anti-consumerism bias shining through. The Mister is a Scout leader and, pills if I do say so myself, valeologist a damn good one. I think it makes a difference that he volunteers his time because he wants to and not because he feels he should since one of his children are in that organization. The Mister is a Scout leader because he loved being a Scout – and I think the kids respond to that very well and respect him a lot. It also doesn’t hurt that he remembers what it was like to be a kid and respects them as well.

Anyway, this self-righteous rant does have a point. You see, I have this stack of never-been-read, hard cover, pretty-much new books:

Well, some of them have been read but most have not. I acquired them in my year as a book reviewer for the Big City Paper (BCP). The BCP would send me a box of books once a month and let me choose the one I wanted to review. In the fall the BCP would send me two or three boxes with up to eight books in them each (until they got rid of all us freelancers and reduced their book section to a boring two-page spread – but I digress). Sounds like a dream – and it was. I loved coming home and checking the other side of the building to see if the incompetent delivery guy was leaving me a box at the laundry room door (don’t know why he couldn’t figure out why there were only odd numbers on that side of the complex and not the even number he was looking for). But the truth is I am never going to get through all of these books and probably don’t even want to read them all. I have toyed with the idea of selling them – my friend said she sold some of her books on Amazon, and it isn’t like we couldn’t use the money – but boy, that sure sounds like a lot of work. I have been hemming and hawing about it until one day it dawned on me: donate them to the library! These are new books! In great condition! And it isn’t like the library doesn’t need them – well, actually I suspect what the library really wants are monetary donations but they need books too. So, the library agreed to take and look through them and whatever they don’t want they will sell in a book sale and use the money for the libary. That suits me just fine. It’s a small way of giving which seems to be the only kind I can do right now. AND if at some point I decide I want to read any of these books I will know where to find them.

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