Books for Everyone

worst case scenerio collegeEver stumble upon something that unexpectedly brought you a lot of joy? Maybe even some laughs? And that thing was FREE? It made my day when that happened to me last week on the way to the Shrimp Festival. Yes, there is a Shrimp Festival. (Ironically named, when you think about it, because it isn’t much of a party for the shrimp.)

But that’s beside the point. What’s on point is that you have to park a mile away from the festivities if you plan to attend. And I just happened to pass the library going from my car to the tents, loud music, and dead shrimp. While I like a good party, nerd that I am, I like a good book more. So I took a detour into the library where they have more good books than I have time to read. They also happened to have a shelf of FREE books.

This shelf is always there, so I almost walked on by, but something grabbed my eye and soon I’d found a book for everyone in the family.  This in and of itself is not that amazing. What’s amazing is that when I brought the books home, EVERYONE loved what I put in their hands. How often does that happen? Seriously? I mean, Santa Claus can’t even work that kind of magic at this address anymore.

For my husband I found a 1930s leather- bound hymnal. He collects old hymnals, and this is one he didn’t have. For my daughter, I grabbed SMILEYS. Don’t know what IMG_20131017_103301_466Smileys are? Let me give you a few visuals:   *<:-) That was a Smiley in a party hat. How about the Smiley who lost a fight?  %+{  The baseball player smiley? d:-) You get the picture. My thirteen year old liked the book so much that when I asked her to borrow it to write this post she said, “Be sure to give it back.” Highest praise!  (For me, the best part of the Smiley book was the blurb on the cover, hailing the volume as the “Noah Webster of Smileys.” Really? I thought Noah Webster was a person. The blurb wasn’t attributed to anyone in particular, by the way.)

For myself, I found Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, which I began reading as soon as I got home. I was just getting into the story of the young person named Red Riding Hood, who ended up feeling affronted by the woodsman who tried to save her from the wolf, when my son shoved the free book I’d found for him into my hands. It was The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: College. Since he’s headed to college next year, the title seemed perfect for him!

The page he wanted me to read was titled How to Tell Your Parents You’ve Been Expelled. (Considering he should have been working on college essays at the time, expulsion seemed to be the least of our problems.) I read the page, which was formatted as a sample letter you could send your parents if such a problem ever did arise.

It started out like this: “Mom and Dad—I’ve got something big I need to tell you. Your baby boy/girl is coming home!”

I know that being expelled is no laughing matter, but this didn’t keep me from laughing until I cried.  My seventeen year old son was laughing too and it was a feel-good family moment. We’d already laughed at the directions for turning a pile of dirty laundry into a beanbag chair, and the illustration of how to use a child size life preserver as a seat protector for dorm toilets. I handed him back the book and we spent the next few minutes laughing back and forth about various college scenarios.

The laughter stopped when I got this question: “What’s the Walk of Shame?”

Hmmm. Maybe I should have read the book before putting it into my child’s hands and having a read-aloud session.

Oh well. Censorship has been dead in this household ever since my son started out-reading me, which happened when he was back in elementary school. I still give the day an A+ thanks to the FREE book shelf.

Got to go… the story of The Three Codependent Goats Gruff is calling my name.




6 comments on “Books for Everyone

  1. mziskjr says:

    What a great haul! I’ll need to pay more attention to the books in the hallway at my library. A couple of weeks ago at a garage sale, I bought Barbara Kingsolver’s “La Lancuna” for a dollar. I had already read it and had given it away. I never give books away and I never reread books, but regretted that the novel was gone. Now I will reread it.

  2. rnewman504 says:

    What a great find! PC bedtime stories sound very cute.

  3. Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

    Glad you found winners for everyone!

    I tell my kids that EVERY book at the library is free. It’s just that you have to give them back after 3 weeks, LOL.

  4. kamikinard says:

    Thanks for the comments, fellow free book (library and otherwise) lovers! Mary, I usually give books away to good homes… to share the joy. The one book I’ve ever given away that I wished I hadn’t was THE THINGS THEY CARRIED. I mentioned this in a continuing ed class I taught and one of the students mailed me a copy. Another free book! But somehow, more special than most.

  5. The Walk Of Shame. Yeah, um, that’s when you walk back to your dorm room because you forgot to bring your homework to class. 😉

  6. kamikinard says:

    Too bad I didn’t think of that one, Laura!

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