In the apartment building where I live here in Covington, Kentucky, down in the basement and across from the laundry room, is a room where some tenants go to drink coffee and to smoke. There are tables and chairs and on some of those tables against the wall, tenants put out items they no longer want. It can be wrapped food items, plates, cups—you get the idea. It can also be books.
A couple months ago, there was a book on one of the tables— “Under the Lake” by Stuart Woods. I remembered reading at least a couple books by Woods several years ago and knew he was a murder/mystery writer. What the hell. I picked up the book, went back to my apartment and put it on my bookshelf. It stayed there.
Late last week, I finished up a book and needed another to start. I thought of “Under the Lake” on my bookshelf. I picked it up and started reading not knowing if it was going to be my cup of tea or not. Sometimes murder/mystery novels just don’t do it for me.
I’m over 60 pages into it and I’m very much enjoying the novel. I looked inside the book to see when it was copyrighted. 1987. Whoever owned this book held onto it for a very long time. Why give it away now?
For me, it’s the little things in life. Reading books that I never thought I would is one of them. The same thing happened to me some years back when my son and I were living in The Roanoke in the Gaslight District of Clifton.
Their laundry room was in the basement too and in that basement was a table where tenants would put out items they no longer wanted—just like in that room here in Covington.
There was a book on the table called “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold. I had heard of it, so again—what the hell?
Some weeks later, I started reading and could not put the book down. If memory serves me right, I read it in one sitting—328 pages.
Maybe I should be doing what some of these other tenants are doing—sharing books they have already read, but I doubt if I will. While I’m grateful for these unexpected good reads, books I like become a part of me. I don’t want to never part with them. That includes now “The Lovely Bones” and “Under the Lake,” books I never thought I would read. Again, I love those little surprises.
(Image from amazon.com)