On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published in the Rains County Leader on October 26, 2020:

“By the time this column is published the remaining books will have been

The Problem of Too Many Books ~ The Imaginative Conservative

hauled away to be sold at Half-Price Books, but the Book Shed behind the Library won’t be empty.” This sentence was in the final paragraph of last week’s column in which I talked about some of the book lovers I met at the Friends of the Library Book Sale. Part of the sentence is true, but the other part – not so much. The book shed is far from empty, mainly because the new policy at Half-Price Books is to accept no more than two boxes at a time. FOL members aren’t easily discouraged when it comes to books, though, so a search began for alternative means of disposing of leftover books.

The first method employed the idea that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Several sets of books were put into open-topped boxes and set on the ground beside the library dumpster. The old saying proved true as all the books disappeared the first day, long before the truck came to collect the trash.

The second proposal was to find an alternative used book dealer. After an

15 Best Online Bookstores for Cheap New and Used Books

unknown number of phone calls, a merchant in Gladewater expressed interest in checking out the inventory. Needless to say, we are holding our collective breath, hoping he will like what he sees and leave us with a vacant shed that is ready for the next round of donations. If he’s not interested, we’ll keep looking while making plans for mini-sales at the library, book tables at Christmas Around the Square, and other marketing measures.

In the middle of all the planning, through one of those coincidences that leaves you looking for an angel in the shadows, we were able to recycle several boxes of books. The FOL Sale has always included a table of religious literature, but this year we had four tables full of Bibles, study guides, devotionals, and lots of other related material. We sold a good bit of it, but we still had eight boxes left. I had heard several comments that the book dealers didn’t like the religious books because they didn’t sell well. I knew that probably meant the dumpster and was concerned.

Then, a friend from the group that meets for a weekend retreat in South Texas each year posted in our Facebook group. She had felt guilty about the completed study material and extra Bibles that she saw lying around her house. She did a Google search for organizations that collected and distributed such material, and she posted links to three of them. I was excited about the possibilities until it dawned on me how much it would cost to ship eight boxes of books – but I checked out the websites anyway. On the “Contact Us” page of the third one, Love Packages, I found a map showing drop-off locations across the eastern U.S. including one in Hawkins, TX. The short story is that last Thursday Connie, Charles, David, and I made a short trip to Hawkins in Charles’ pickup. We dropped off the books at Holly Brook Baptist Church and stopped for lunch at a favorite Mexican restaurant in Mineola on the way back.

Love Packages was started in 1975 when Steven J. Schmidt and his wife shipped sixty boxes of literature to missionaries in four countries. Since then, they have shipped over 15,000 tons of material all over the world, thus fulfilling their vision “to see all of our excess, the materials that are being wasted, placed on the mission fields of the world.”

If you would like to know more about this ministry, go to www.lovepackages.org. And while you’re at it, cross your fingers that the FOL will successfully pass on the rest of the leftover books.



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A Long and Winding Road

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