Books Found on Brooklyn Stoops, and Other Book Love
One of the (many) things I love about being a booklover is the feeling of global community that gives me. If one isn’t a booklover, I imagine he or she can’t understand the perverse joy felt at the connection of millions of people across the globe, reading, sharing, reviewing, lending, buying, selling, and of course discussing. I get giddy thinking about the number of book clubs, story hours, readings, lectures and the like going on at this very moment.
The physical book becomes almost an object of worship to us, too. Garage sales, estate sales and the like are always book treasure opportunities. And craning one’s neck to see what one is reading on a plane, in a dentist’s office, at a bus stop, is a secret handshake – who is this person? Finding and spying books in public is such a thrill, to imagine who they belong to, when they were first bought new and why, how many hands they’ve passed through, and what journey they’ve travelled to end up where they are.
One of the services dedicated to the further enchantment of nerds like myself is Book Crossing. Touted as a modern-day message in a bottle, it encourages book owners to read a book, register it on the website to get a unique identifying number for the book, label it, and then release it into the wild. Lucky people who come across the book can update the web site with the book’s whereabouts, read it, and release it again. Kind of like the stolen gnome who keeps showing up in global destinations, this is an unusual and wonderful way to see how far our sharing can reach.
More recently I came across the Brooklyn Stoop Books tumblr. It’s an even simpler concept – the tumblr’s owner photographs books s/he finds on the stoops throughout Brooklyn. I like that it is small enough and specific enough to provide an interesting cross section of the readers of a borough. Here are just a few of the submissions: