I read a lot, but, with few exceptions, I feel no urge to maintain physical possession of books after having read them. Quite the contrary, I find them put to much better use if I pass them on as gifts, leave them in public places or donate them to a library.
Walking through Calgary, I came across this beautiful box, part of the Little Free Library network, next to a bus stop on 4th Street/27th Avenue NW.
Enchanted, but not expecting much, for these boxes usually hold thrillers, fantasy or girly novels and other books that are given away for a reason, I nonetheless peeked inside. Hope never dies.
To anyone waiting at the nearby bus stop, it must have seemed that I had found a chest of gold or, to use a metaphor more suitable to Alberta, struck oil, for my smile widened and my eyes lit up, discovering that some gentle soul in the neighborhood had deposited books by William Somerset Maugham. To whoever it was, thank you very much!
Rarely have I found such good literature and exactly what I have been wanting to read in one of these little library boxes, but this was perfect! I had just read Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence and the Ashenden short stories, satisfying both my guilty pleasure of spy stories as well as my appreciation of good literature.