Books are a uniquely portable magic.That’s what Stephen King said in his memoir regarding the art of writing. Maybe that is why I couldn’t understand when, being in close proximity to the garbage bin, I saw a bag almost full of books, a fact that now, thinking back, really shocks me.
How could anyone throw a bunch of books is beyond my comprehension. Considering I was about fourteen years old back then and honestly not a big fan a books except those related to school and some Tolstoy and Wilkie Collins, I wasn’t surprised very much that some of my neighbors threw out some books to make space for a new TV or God knows what. And with all the shame of searching in someone’s litter bin I took out a volume of The Magus and The Decameron. Now, whenever I think back to that day, I wish I had taken the whole bag of books.
On the other hand, anyone who would read John Fowles and Boccaccio is on my opinion a smart one and I tend to believe that not the person who bought these books is the one that threw them away. I imagine the owner of these works was an old man, an actor or maybe a writer or literature professor. I tend to make these speculations because I noticed that every one of the books had hand-made covers even though all were hard-covered and almost 30 years old. Attention to details really makes me think that this reader understands and treasures the words between the covers.
I can only hope that the family, children or grand-children, got a good deal on the old man’s/lady’s apartment considering that they lost everything else of real value.