hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Younger Generation

Today, we put up the first of the weekly booksales at the Saturday Market (10-2).  The buyers and sellers were somewhat limited in number, but that is customary at the beginning of each summer.  If we had more venders with plants and with produce, or with baked goods, it would probably draw more folks.  But food products are a problem with the state, unless they meet specific standards or are baked goods offered up by a charitable organization.  And more crafters would help, even if the same ones weren't there every week but at least occasionally showed up.  Or  maybe this is the best we can do here with our small and sort of rotating population.

In any case, we put out about 8 racks of books (and CD's/DVD's) each Saturday mostly fiction of various sorts.  It's always fun to talk to people about the books they find for their this week's reading.  I wish the people who give us the books would write their names in the books so if we come upon a very unusual treat of a book, the buyer could maybe contact the donor to see if he/she had any similarly wonderful books that they might be willing to recommend, if not to donate.

Today, i had brought a book called "Map Art" and a couple of quilted pieces that I had made inspired by the book's suggestions to show a friend who has his own obsession with creativity.  But he didn't show up, so the pieces and the book were just sitting on the table where I was taking money for books.  A lady came up with a book, but before she got her money out, she asked me about the quilted pieces and I told her how I had come to do them (one a quilted map of my yard, the other an accordian fold-out book which included drawings of every house I had lived in in my peripatetic life).  We talked a little about them and I showed her where in the book I had been working from.  Then she asked me, "Can I buy the book?"  I hadn't brought it to sell, but I didn't need it any more.  She told me she had a granddaughter arriving this week and that she would love to make stuff out of the book.  So, of course, she went off with the book.  The pleasures of the book sale.  It's not just selling used books, but small moments in which we find we have something more in common with someone else here than we thought.

A little later, a twenty-something year old guy came up and asked me if we had any Hemingway books.  I found him a book of short stories, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," and he was pleased to have it.  Then he told me how much he liked Hemingway and asked whether I'd ever read any of his books.  "Yes," I replied, "pretty much all of them."  He was pretty surprised, clearly not realizing that Hemingway was considered one of the very great American writers of the first half of the 20th Century...a century in which I had spent 63 years, much of it studying literature.  He nodded his head, acknowledging that we shared an admiration for these books, and then said, "He is just one of the best travel writers ever."

What to reply?  "Well, I never really thought of him as a travel writer," I said.  "Although he did write about a lot of countries."  "What kind of a writer did you think of him as?"

"Just a great one, I guess." I answered lamely.  There was the connection, there was the gap of almost 60 years."  Good reading, guy!

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