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Who has the audacity to throw a book away?

My job today is to go to the small library in the 55-and-older park where I live. They call me the library lady. I volunteer to keep the books in alphabetical order and various other things.

This morning I found a book in the small garbage can in the library. Who throws a book away, and who actually had the audacity to take it upon themselves to throw away one of my books? That’s my job, except I don’t throw books away.

Books do get dropped into our book deposit that have been in the bathtub and are now twice their normal size. Many books have turned down or missing corners. Paper clips are sometimes used to keep all the pages intact, and some have rubber bands around them to save the outside cover. Cigarette burns and red wine spills also appear — occasionally together. None of this means I get to put them in the garbage can.

Books have a life after reading. Thank goodness for the people at the free book store. You pick up, read, return and take another. They are the book saviors. All for free.

That’s what I do when the above described and sometimes damaged books appear in “my library.” I take them to the free book store and life goes on for all books. I’m sure there is a time when they can no longer be deciphered, but they are now recycled into something that I think is probably another book or sent to a Third World country that worships any kind of print, whether the whole story is there or not. So, don’t put books in the garbage can. I have the power to move those books on to a better life. And please remember: That’s my job.

The book I found this morning in the garbage can has caught my attention. Why was it thrown away? It appears in good condition, and now I can’t lay it down. I have to find out why someone would feel the life of that book should end. If you think the life of a librarian is easy, just try not opening a book that is in the garbage can. If you can do that, you need to take a course in “Finding my inquiring mind.”

On the other hand, if I could just ignore that thrown-away book, my house might be a little cleaner or its shine a little brighter. But who am I kidding? I have a book to read.

Nancy Fox lives in Central Point.