I’ve always believed that books are a great way to bring people together. It’s great to share ideas, see the world through other people’s eyes and get a different perspective on life. This all is possible when you talk to someone about a meaningful book you’ve both read. One such book I’ve read is Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I love Thoreau’s total immersion in Nature, his wonder and deep philosophical musings on life. I recently brought up this title to a volunteer who had also read it and enjoyed it. Just talking about it magically brought both of us back to the world Thoreau created within the pages of that book. When you think about it, every book is its own tiny world in itself.
When I first learned about the Missing Book Club’s tradition of leaving books in public places, I felt this was a perfect example of how books can bring people together, at least in spirit. The Missing Book Club, based in Argentina, makes a practice of leaving books in public places four times a year at the start of every season. The next time this event occurs is on June 21st, and I’m excited to say that you might encounter some books left behind right here in Austin, thanks to the Austin Public Library and its used bookstore, Recycled Reads. These books are not from the library’s collection, but were donated to Recycled Reads and then purchased for this event with funds from generous donors. If you should find a book, it’s yours to read and then hopefully to pass on to another person. This act is not only to share the love of a good book with fellow Austinites, but to share the excitement of reading, especially as a part of our Summer Reading Program. To me this event feels special, as though we too are members of the Missing Book Club, together sharing in something bigger than ourselves.