A Banner Day at the Street Books Library

People who read the terrific article by Rebecca Koffman at the Oregonian stopped by to see the street library, donate books and say hello. Big thanks to Ms. Koffman, who came down for two different Street Books shifts, and spent lots of time talking to people and observing the library in action. She captures the project and its aims very well, and I appreciate her keen eye for detail and wonderful writing. Robert Montgomery saw the article and came straightaway with a bag of great titles, including New Stories From the South: 2010, edited by Amy Hempel, one of my favorite authors. This librarian plans to get a quick look at that on her next shift.

Finally saw Tony again, and let him know I had the R.A. Salvatore books he'd requested a month or so ago. "I've been looking for you," I said. "I know, he said. "I was in the psych ward for four days, and then jail for three, so I've been gone awhile." "Welcome back," I said. I showed him the book marked "Reserved for Tony," and I could tell he was glad to see it.

A man named Arthur stopped by and recommended a book called The Butterfly Fleet, a book of historical fiction by Dena Johnson, which takes place in our own nearby Astoria. He said it was one of the best books he's read in a long time. While we talked, he began to arrange the paperbacks so that all the titles faced the same way. "I'm sorry," he said. "Do you mind? I'm a little compulsive about organization." I told him I was always happy for any organization, being (sadly) the opposite of compulsive about organization myself. So thanks, Arthur.

Had a very nice conversation with Dante, who has been on the road some years now, and he took time to tell me on video why Don Quixote is such an important book to read. I'll be posting that video soon, so stay tuned.

Thanks again, everyone, for the support, donations, and well wishes. I had a feeling when I launched this project that this city would rise to the occasion, and People of Portland, you haven't let me down.