What a charming, civilized city it is that motivates its residents to leave their completed reading materials outside of their homes on the sidewalk in boxes, on brownstone stoops, or in even larger browsing bins, with the implicit goal of striking the match in the rest of us passers-by to think, in the midst of the busy day, "Hmm, what should I read next? This book, perhaps?" And then, if the fire catches, to simply pick up said volume and continue on our way.
Yo, youse guys, I'm talkin' Noo Yawk hee-uh! The very same city. This warms me when I see it. And I've seen it often enough that it seems to be a sweet little trend. In fact, one time I noticed an entire box whose contents were so good I could have just picked up the whole thing and taken it home! But, that wouldn't have been right. The social contract permits one, or maybe two, to be lifted from the offerings. (I'm making this up, but really, taking the whole box would have been wrong, right?)
This book didn't interest me, no reason why. I just have enough to try to read in French right now, and for the next 20 years at the speed I read French novels. But, isn't it just the most different thing from what you expect to see in New York City?
Wouldn't you rather expect to simply see garbage? Perhaps garbage even dumped out of its can, as perhaps a homeless person had rummaged through and left the remains right there on the street? Something like this perhaps?
I can think of so many possible stories involving a discarded toe shoe - the overly competitive and insecure roommate who rummages through the dance bag and tosses out ONE shoe, or the young dancer who simply throws it out the window dramatically, yelling after it lands in the garbage can, "No more! Broadway for me!"
Ah, New York. Eight million stories. Two of them perhaps right here.