I’ve lost several favorite local stores here in the great East Bay. And let’s just put it mildly, it made me quite sad and always on the prowl for another new place to love. As an avid reader, I support the public library. In fact, I support it so much that I belong to two different libraries, and subsequently am a member of two different Friends of the Public Library associations. Well, that latter thing? It just helped me hit the freaking blog motherload.
After having a lovely lunch with my friend Stephanie, we decided to FINALLY on my suggestion go to check out the local bookstore run by the “you guessed it” Friends of the Public Library. Walking into that store, on the corner of Channing Way and Telegraph, was like hitting a proverbial reading jackpot. Not only were the books insanely cheap, $2 or less, but the variety of books was astounding and for a local smallish association, there were enough recent bestsellers on the shelves (trust me, for a lot of people it’s a thing, and it’s hard to compare this Friends of the Library to the other large urban one I belong to, but really, not the point). At any rate, everything I was doing there was all going to support the organization itself and its many literary programs so I was happy to spend my money, boy was I ever. I roamed around the various sections like a merry child, lost in my own literary happy land. And then….I saw a sign for Judaica section and walked in front of six fully stock shelves in this wonderful store. Let me put this in context, guys. I’ve seen less Judaica on shelves in many a Barnes & Noble. So this was a veritable goldmine especially when I got to peruse what was there. Oh, the usual volumes about Holocaust and such and nary a book on Israel which was in an entirely different though appropriate section of Middle East. But the thing that impressed me the most was the quantity of volumes on arts, literature, crafts and photography of Jews. These books were none that I’ve ever seen anywhere else. From the stamps inside some, I saw that they were discards from the local university library’s. And how can one calling oneself a reader leave behind books stamped Discard? Duh, of course I couldn’t. At one point I was torn between TWO books depicting Jewish life from 19th century to WWII. TWO!!!! What a choice! I can’t tell you how having this chance to discover a new place to love made me happy. And not just happy. Ecstatic because this place of wonder has such Jewish treasures to discover.
And all I will say is that I bought three treasures that I would really love to share with you soon.