FREE US MEDIA MAIL $25+ / PRIORITY MAIL $75+ LOCAL PICKUP IN KOREATOWN, LOS ANGELES

Something sweet happened the other day: something human, something bookish. For the first time since moving into my apartment a year ago, there was an unexpected knock at the door. I opened it to find Marc, my neighbor from down the street and the father of one of my childhood best friends, with his small and silent husky in tow.

"We're going skating and we..." he trailed off as he stepped inside. He spotted my shelves, smiled and said, "That is a lot of books. I mean, you'd think you were a librarian."

He confessed that, as an engineer and a mechanic, he loves books but cannot find the time. I forgave him and we laughed, talking about stories and hotrods as he and the dog glanced around. When he left, I felt both a foreign and shared feeling. A feeling absent since the onset of the coronavirus, one of whim and witnessing.

Having someone from my past see my home - see my library - felt suddenly like time traveling. All the books that I moved from Washington to Idaho to California were there. All of my collected paperbacks. All of my lesbian pulp fiction. All of my few first-editions. All of me.

I suppose that is why I buy books. To organize and admire them, to use them as a mirror back to myself and, when it is safe, to share them.

✍🏼 @readingbrb