The Sun Don’t Shine


Coming Out. This Summer May Be Different.

The leaves are coming out. Soft tender lime-green or yellow-green emerging from their buds like tightly squeezed hands. Chlorophyll is filling them. It just so happens the etymology for chlorophyll is the Greek khlōros, “pale green, greenish yellow.” The leaves will fill out, spread out then enlarge to full size and color—green. They will toughen with maturity and start their work to build and grow their organism. Soon the forest canopy will be impenetrable to the eye. I will not be able to see the sky. A green roof to the forest.

This summer may be different. I may go out into the world of people some. Maybe I will go places in the evening. Home and bed will not call me so early. And maybe I will be with people for a change.

I will walk the sidewalks and enter spaces. Drink, dine, converse.

This summer may be different.

Saturday was bright and cool. I found myself walking out into the dockyard just for larks. Exiting down the steps and through the door between Dock 17 and 18. Then walking most of the eastern length of the building past one trailer after another loaded front to back, side to side, floor to ceiling with books. I called to Merry and Pippin who came running full of love and expectation.

“What are we doing!? Let’s play!”

I’d toss balls or snacks, and they’d go careening after.

Then up the ramp just beyond Dock 1 and back into the building. The big light fixtures hanging from the ceiling come on automatically with a pop and a flash. Every few steps, another one lights up.

“Pop, pop, pop.”

Ridgely was sorting records at Dock 11. The door was raised high, and sunlight poured in. A huge open dumpster is set just outside. He can toss the defective and unsaleable ones right into it. Some go sailing like frisbees. Travis was out in the stacks culling deleted sections. He selects viable books for the stores and Books by the Foot. He has an excellent eye and rescues a lot of surprising books.

“Why did this never sell online? Must have been listed wrong. Well, it will have another shot at one of the stores.”

Dylan, who graduated high school last year and is only working some weekends, is bringing things as needed and taking them away throughout the building. He unloads vans full of books from the public and fills them with boxes of fresh stock specially selected for the three stores.

Two book sorters are in. Caryn and Chloe. The former here for years. The latter started recently because she wanted to work with what she loves. Books.

I spent the day seated on a stool in a vacant station between them. English soccer was streaming on my laptop nearby, and I would look up if something exciting was going on.

Six people and two dogs and 5 million books in a three-acre building.

People often ask, “Did you ever dream…?”

Yes. Dreaming is all I’ve done in my life. This evolution is just the latest phase. What is next?

As it is, my plate is overflowing.

I am dreaming about it…

As the day aged, I dreamed that I asked a question, and the answer was a happy affirmative. Was I stepping off a cliff? If so, perhaps I would fly a bit. I have had some vivid dreams recently, and a volley of poems have appeared on the legal pad I share my bed with. One went long into the evening in a darkened music-filled room where I had a dialog about books, life, the universe and everything.

April ended, and May began.

Am I in a late spring? Well, hope springs eternal.

May Day, Sunday

Dawned bright, but the weather was to be wet later in the day.

Down the mountain and into work. Though I’d spent all day Saturday sorting through them, there are still so many carts of books waiting for my attention.

We’ve been flooded with lots of old and problematic books recently.

Larry brought a train man’s collection in. Four loads in three days. I groaned when I saw the old ones carted for me. Crumbly old leather and faded vintage cloth. Dull tech tomes on steel and construction and trains.

Train Books

That genre is not all that uncommon, as steel and trains were the thing 120 years ago. Andrew Carnegie was building steel mills and burning coal. Factory oligarchs were wearing iron men down with hot heavy long hours and poor pay. Work. Not building libraries yet, I think. The bad and good of moguls.

But first, I must plant the gardens. If I get the four-dozen tomato and pepper plants in before it rains, they will get off to a good start. I went to the southern side of the building where there are now seven beds. A few are quite small. I assumed the gardener’s position—on my knees—and hacked into the earth with my hand adze. Sometimes, candy would come out of the hole I was making. We’d poured the COVID-stale vending candies onto the beds and covered them with soil. They are all just sugar, and I assumed they would just melt beneath the earth with time and precipitation. If not, well, I had no plan B. So far, no creatures have been digging for them.

Soon everything was in. I gave the new plants a light watering and hoped the predicted rain would come.

I will call them the Gum Ball Gardens. I hope the tomatoes will be sweet but not the hot peppers. Ghost, Carolina Reaper, Jalapeño.

Sure enough, the rains came in the afternoon.

On some of the carts laden with books NOT designated for my inspection, I spied more train books from the same hoard. Whoa! Dozens of coffee-table books from the 40s, 50s, 60s. Micro-regional train lines and styles. Like The Pike’s Peak Cog Road. That’s a pretty narrow gauge!

Train Books

These are much better. They will sell well and for good prices.

I worked until late afternoon. Travis left at 5. I gathered the dogs into the dog-hair filled Jeep and left soon after. I only let them ride in that vehicle because they invariably shed tiny white hairs everywhere, even though the passenger seat is covered with a sheet. It’s the devil to get their hairs out. I go to the car wash on the west side of town. After going through a tunnel of water showers and colored lights and high pressure air jets, you roll out into a lot where your car is descended upon by 4 or 5 guys who vacuum and window wash and wipe down everything. Even though they have high-powered vacuums, there is still plenty of dog hair remaining.

Home. Tired. Sunday night alone. Nothing to do but work more.

I dug up more redbud seedlings. I set them in a tub of damp composted manure in the bed of the ATV. This will keep their roots moist til they reenter the earth. I drove the dirt paths toward the northwest side of the house where the next grove is planned. This will be the third grove I’ve created in the last couple of weeks. And the largest. In ancient Greece, it was thought goddesses or dryads occupied sacred groves. I have 3 available rent free—for any goddess to move in.

The young redbud foliage has not yet greened. The leaves are like tiny golden coins.

You are the tender young green foliage and the shoots of the plants rising from the once dead earth.

Young Redbud

I set them out in an irregular grid. The spot will take 40 or 50 or more—if I have the energy and resolve to fill it. But it will be stunning. I hope I am here to see it blossom and fill out.

Then I set some frozen pizza slices in the oven. Leftovers from a week ago, when the world was different. Pepperoni, bacon and anchovy. A recipe for heartburn. While it melted and then heated, I went out to the barn. I set the choke, opened the fuel valve and pulled the cord on the 7-ton wood splitter. It spluttered to life and then roared when I unchoked it. I hoisted one of the 30″ diameter chunks into the cradle. I pulled the safety lever, and the hydraulic wedge slid toward the wood. When it engaged, its progress slowed a bit, and the engine roared a bit louder. It slowly sank in until the section of tree trunk surrendered. It split with a cracking “POP!” It was still too large for the stove, so I rotated it a bit and repeated the process until all the burnable splits from that big piece were tossed onto the pile. Then, with an animal groan and grunt, I hoisted the next big piece. They weigh about 70 pounds and are the result of last week’s work cutting up the sentinel tree that fell when COVID was still raging.

When I could bear no more, I returned to the house. I lit a fire in the woodstove with twigs and small branches. I had carried in a big black canvas satchel from the drive. It was full of small pieces of wood. Soon that area will be cleared off, and I can blow off the sawdust, long dead leaves and other organic debris. I will reclaim that part of the driveway from winter.

When will I light my last fire this season?

Well-earned exhaustion and a couple Old Fashioned’s had me dreamy and more than a bit numbly sore. I brought my bachelor peasant fare into the Great Room. I texted pictures of my wine red-cherry filled cocktail and blooming bleeding heart, columbine, lilac… to a friend. Then watched Perry Mason on the giant TV that covers one wall 15 feet from the recliner section in the black leather conversation pit that tries but fails to fill the big room.

Oh, I sent pictures of the trilliums too! This one of proudest COVID gardening accomplishments. From two volunteers a few years ago, I’ve created 60 or 70 trilliums in 4 beds. Careful transplantation of the extremely fragile plants and spreading loose fertile soil below the seed heads seems to be the reason.


Time travel to the 1950s…

It felt good to fall into reverie and then dreamland in the era my older brothers grew up in.

I awoke due to a brilliant flash that flooded my bedroom! It was followed instantly with a loud electric “Crrrack” and a thunderous boom. The 3 a.m. thunderstorm lasted for half an hour, and I wrote yet another verse. A dream I had awakened from remained, and it became, “Walking Barefoot on Broken Glass.”

‘May 2nd,’ I thought and rolled back onto my side, wrapping my arms around a pillow to give me something to hold on to.


It rained all last night. I won’t have to water the dozen or so redbud trees I planted Tuesday night. There are now over twenty in the waste area below the bridge to the deck from the west porch. It will be a striking when they first bloom—perhaps in a few years. Depending how far up the slope I can endure going, I could put another 50 in. There are plenty of seedlings in harm’s way along the drive. My shoulders ached from slamming the mattock into the gravel bordering the asphalt. When I moved in during 2009, I paved over the gravel driveway. And for every tree I dig up, I need to slam the mattock into the earth to create a hole for planting. Since it’s a mountain, I often strike buried stone. “OWW!” Some rocks I can dig out. Others I need to abandon for softer ground.

This day will certainly be different. I will return to a beginning this evening. Now Il Porto Restaurant, it was once the Frederick Union Rescue Mission. When the bookshop first began, I would go there once a week and buy books that had been donated there. It was run by Rev. Shell. A tall bulky guy, he was tough love with the alcoholics and derelicts and troubled men who I would often see stripping the vinyl off electrical wire in a back room so the copper could be sold. He would set boxes of books aside for me. I would pick out what I wanted and pay the Mission more than Shell expected. (That spot was featured as a fictional place in the early Round and Round series.)

It is quite a contrast that the once impoverished me visited a place which fed the poor. Now, a fairly successful bookseller, I will return for the best Italian food in Frederick in a white-linen semi-formal setting. The patterned tin ceiling is unchanged.

When I was leaving work Tuesday afternoon after another monumental and mentally and physically challenging day, I encountered a bunny nibbling away at parsley in the garden.


I had planted 50 or so tomatoes and peppers on Sunday, and I was sure this pretty thing would decapitate them all.

I had forgotten something and went back inside. When I stepped back out a minute later, a crow-size red-shouldered hawk was on the sidewalk. It eyed me warily and then rose a couple feet off the ground and flew down to the Gum Ball Gardens. It carried the gray limp lifeless rabbit in its talons. I think the weight kept it from rising high and leaving the premises. I drove down past the 20 or so parking spot and got this picture:

Red-shouldered Hawk

Problem solved. Thanks, nature.

This morning, the small flock of blue jays has returned to the porch roof outside my window. They are a raucous bunch, and their coarse calls rip the calm mountain morning. They will empty the window feeders while I am at work.

Another poem came this morning in the dark. My lamplight shone on drizzly gray fog outside the bedroom window. A poem a day in May thus far. And poems to close the last three days in April. The thoughts and memory will become as permanent as the paper they are written upon.

Tuesday was a monstrous day. I knew it was coming. Tim the contractor had written late Sunday, warning he was coming with the new record bin and to bang and screw the next major phase in the Hagerstown Wonder Book’s evolution. At least we could prepare and plan.

(A red-bellied woodpecker is climbing the tree 15 feet from my window. Oddly named, its head is bright red, but its belly is not. It hops up the vertical tree trunk a few inches at a time, twisting its head every which way, checking for trouble. It will soon leap to the roof and batter open a sunflower seed. “TOT-TOT-TOT…!”)

But I am skipping Monday! I wrote in bed in the morning and got to work a bit late. I had worked so hard over the weekend, but there were still so many complex carts remaining. I thought that was likely how I would spend part of my Monday.


I crossed the building to the docks to see who was in and what needed attention. Larry and two Wonder Book guys were at Dock 2.

“I blew two tires bringing these up.”

“Well, yeah.”

The box truck was filled floor to ceiling. Overloaded.

Overloaded Truck

“There’s another truck coming with 450 bankers boxes.”

The best laid plans of mice and men aft gang agly?


The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promised joy.

So I changed hats to “Spacemaker” yet again. And “Cart Clearer.”

Mondays, we usually have thousands of orders from the weekend. The orders are printed. Stacks are given to pickers. Pickers head out to the cropland of the warehouse floor and pull books off the shelves. The carts go up to shipping to be packed.



So, we need a constant supply of empty carts.

I threw myself into the breach to empty any cart that could be done quickly. In some ways, it is fun to work with common culls. Like eating popcorn (with truffled olive oil and garlic salt preferably.) I pull off books that look viable for store stock. I drop them into banker’s boxes. Currently, due to inflation and rising costs: $3.95, $6.95, $9.95, $12.95. Higher prices are marked here one at a time. So four boxes were gaping open at my feet. When a box is full, I lay a piece of scrap paper atop it. On it, the price and destination are scrawled hurriedly. Then an empty banker’s box is set atop that to be filled with books at the same price point.




The carts fill and are emptied.

A second truck arrives.

No way we can quickly get a thousand boxes in without creating gridlock. I checked my phone. No rain til Tuesday night.

“Set those on pallets out in the dockyard.”

Outside Pallets

So Monday was… grunt work.

450 bankers boxes spent the night outdoors. We closed and chained the dockyard gates. Not that the books would be worth stealing, but I can just imagine some hoarders driving by and deciding come in and “root.”

Over 1000 boxes just from Larry on Monday. Then 4 or 5 van loads from the three stores.

A day of crisis control.

I was beat when I left at 4:30. But when I got home and passed the doomed redbuds along the drive up, I decided to put on yard clothes. I put a couple cans of Natural Light in my hoodie pouch for sustenance. I keep that on hand as “Yard Beer.” No taste. Cheap. Weak. I threw my leg over the saddle of the ATV with the mattock secured to the running board by a booted foot.

Down the steep drive to the redbud “nursery.”

I recall that when I lived on the pre Civil War Stone house farmette close to the Mason Dixon Line below Gettysburg, there would often be population explosions of different creatures. One year, there were rabbits everywhere. Everywhere.

I guess whatever caused this redbud “plague”/population explosion should be taken advantage of. Plus, it is good exercise. Plus, it passes the time. It wears me out, so sleep comes more easily. And I’m investing in the future. Each redbud will add some $$$ to the property value.

Well, I actually like the labor and the cause.


Tim, the contractor I have worked with since 1990, said he would be at the Hagerstown bookstore at opening. He was bringing a fourth custom built record bin. We would remove a row of low deep bookcases in the entrance area before the security gate. In its place, we would set in enormous lockable glass cases. When people enter the store, the first thing they will see is glittering eye candy (which can’t be shoplifted.)

When the empty bin was installed, we set 3 or 4 employees to empty one of the existing bins into it. When that was emptied, Tim would move that bin in line with the new one. And so on.

The row of bookcases that had been near the front door was moved so we could put the giant glass cases there…

When it was all done, we now have two huge open spaces to play with.

Hagerstown Renovation


“Square dancing?”

“Poetry readings.”

“I told you we would have a lot of space leftover.”

“Whatever… that will be phase 4. To be determined.”

“Well, can we put twelve 8-foot 10-inch deep bookcases in this little void? It won’t affect anything.”

“Good idea! Agreed. Tim, can you come measure for these?”

I drove the van back to Frederick and left the others to fine tune as the dust settled.

I needed to make a deposit and get an exotic key duplicated. Might as well get a haircut.

If I’m really going to rejoin the land of the living, I should care about my hair. It’s been flopping in my eyes, taking a couple hours to dry and flipping out every which way it decides to curl. I looked up “Hair Mandi” on my phone contacts and called.

“Can Mandi see me in the next couple hours?”

When I got back, the boxes out in the dockyard were all inside.

I went home…

“It’s going to rain all night. This would be a perfect time to plant LOTS of trees!”

I guess I am possessed. Obsessive about some things.

What goddess will move into this grove? Maybe my Book Muse will return. It has been a while since I heard her voice. I miss it, although she usually chides me when she appears.

I rewarded myself with an Old Fashioned and sat down to watch the first Washington Capitals NHL playoff game in the “Great Room.” I was so tired I made a jar of salsa and Ritz crackers for my dinner. (A small jar of Chi Chi’s. Everything is better when it sits on a Ritz. Nothing but the best cuisine for me!) The Caps were losing. I resignedly fell into bed and smiled happy dreams.

When I awoke Wednesday, I saw the Caps had come back and won! I wrote another poem in bed. A poem a day in May. Banged out some of this story and headed in—hoping for a normal day.

It was. Until an employee fell off the loading dock and hit his head. We insisted he get treatment, so another employee took him to the ER. To make sure everything was safe, I cleaned up the pavement where he fell. Someone thought I should pour bleach on the spot where the blood had been. I didn’t notice til the next morning my khakis had been ruined.

Ruined Khakis

Just when I think I have done everything here, a novel task is thrust upon me.

The employee’s mom will call me later. I hope with good news.

I’m sitting in my office waiting to go out to dinner writing this. Monday, Tuesday and, now, Wednesday were just crazy. A couple weeks before I went to college, three Wonder Boys were driving out in the country. Alan, who was driving, lost control, and we slammed into a tree. I can replay those moments in my mind as if it was yesterday. It has always replayed in slow motion, as does the 10 or so hours before and after I found his body in his bedroom with a .22 in his hands.

The events of this week don’t rise to that tragedy, but looking back from Thursday, it all seems to have passed in slow motion. Dreamlike slow motion. It didn’t seem like it at the time.

This morning, I dug out my famous blue blazer. In the pocket, I found a funeral card in the pocket. A very elderly in-law. February 2020. The last time I wore it. In another pocket, I found tickets to the Vatican from my visit in December 2019. It is a bit snug. I put on khakis and a linen shirt.

2 years of hoodies and COVID jeans. I think I’ve worn one pair over 400 times in two years. Maybe more…

Two years of too much introspection. It settled some things. I know now I cannot go back. Stay still and stagnate? Or move forward into unknown territories? Push myself out of my safety zone and… I don’t know. But there is only one way to find out.

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of Resolution
Is sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
With this regard their Currents turn awry,
And lose the name of Action.

Well, there’s nothing for it but to put one foot in front of the other and go… somewhere.

We stepped down a few stone steps from the space I first entered when I was a young man whose future was in doubt. If the bookshop failed, maybe I could become a bus driver.

We stood upon the uneven brick sidewalk. I turned and looked back into the fancy restaurant, which was once a mission for the poor. The beaten tin ceiling, stoop and door are all that remains of that time. And before my time? 150 years old, I would think.

I felt I was in two times. Then and now. We turned and stepped off the shaped-stone curb and crossed the old thoroughfare.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets


Spring in the old little big city.

The street is lined with Georgian row houses. The same as it had been a lifetime ago. The same as it was many lifetimes ago.

Ah, there’s the rub. It is unchanged, but I am not.

Our strides matched gaits down the sidewalk. We came to the bridge over the creek and crossed to the other side.

Do I belong then or now?

Into an old row house, now a tavern and restaurant. We sat across from one another, a plane of wood between us. A bottle of wine and two glasses appeared. Sunlight held together by water.

The women come and go.

Talking of Galileo.

The rich red liquid is almost texturally tactile. In my mouth over my tongue, it feels heavier than liquid. Mixed with air, it fills my senses. Taste, scent, sight. I hear you talking.

Sunlight, soil, rain and grapes. And time. This wine was some years old.

Do I belong then or now? Perhaps somewhere else, but I don’t know how to get there.

The bottle emptied as our glasses filled, and we spoke to one another all the while. Sip. Speak. Smile.

The spring evening aged as it has outside this same building for two hundred years, along this street for much longer.

I wondered a lifetime ago if I belonged here. I wonder the same tonight as we sit with wine and glasses between us. Rich, dark, black red in the dim light.

Out to the street. The door clicked locked behind us. Closed. We crossed the empty street flanked by now nearly empty walkways. Down into a quiet basement bar whose steps I first descended a lifetime ago. Bright. Crowded. A live contrast versus the city above us. We stood. No seats. We looked behind the bar, seeking attention. You, the center of it. We conversed over the din. The mirror on the wall reflected you and me. Stunned by you. Stunned by me. I squinted, and a fuzzy vignette formed round my features. Much better.

Let us go you and I. Over oceans, north, south, east and west. Flights of fancy never to be taken to fruition. Pipe dreams. Harmless things.

Out, up the old stone steps to the old brick sidewalk. An old, old town.

We retraced our steps across the creek and back to where we began.

And I awoke from that strange magical dream. Nothing’s changed.

Home, I put my head upon a pillow to sleep, to sleep, perchance to dream. What dreams may come when this all ends with a final sleep?


And then Thursday came to consciousness with choruses of birdsong demanding wakening.

Dawn broke.


Day ended night.

“What happened?”

Best not to think about.

Rise. Put one foot in front of the other. Step out the door for this world’s rotating journey.

To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.

So much unchanged. But I am.

Yes. This summer may be different. I am seriously putting the house in order. Putting things away, taking things away, sweeping off the COVID cobwebs, sweeping up the COVID dust bunnies… Shelving books. Shelving LOTS of books.

Maybe I am starting to care again.

Then, I actually have company coming in May. That kind of gun to the head spurs on resolve.

I am in my office, struggling to make this comprehensible. Stream of consciousness… Just go along for the ride.

So many books. All wonderful books.

I need to shelve the piles. There’s room perhaps. If not, I can cull. I should cull. But then if I tend to these others will go wanting.

What’s in these piles?

Office Pile

I can go to the ceiling!

Office Pile to Ceiling

So much dreaming has made me tired. Or maybe spiritually dizzy.

Or maybe it was all the tree planting.

Or the crush of books.

Borges tells me:

You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened.

And this place has stolen a lot of my time lately. I am doing tasks I should not be.

What is next? What dream may come?


Rain is falling in torrents. A lone bird is trying to call up the dawn.

“Trrr-eet! Trrr-eet! Trr-eet!”

It calls in threes and then silences for a moment. Then again, “Trr-eet…”

Soon, things will brighten in the forest to dull gray-green. It will rain all day and into the night.

I transplanted more redbuds last evening. I was tired from a weird, wonderful, wearing week. My important task was to clean up the house for overnight guests tonight. The first since COVID. But with rain coming, putting more young trees in made sense. I certainly preferred that over vacuuming.

So, I swung my leg over the ATV’s saddle, held the adze-headed mattock to the running board with my boot, a cocktail in my left hand. The throttle is on the right handlebar. There’s a foot brake on the right running board. So, all my appendages were engaged. Down to the redbud “nursery” near the footbridge across the logging ditch. I sought a level spot to set my drink down. Then I raised the heavy tool and slammed it into the gravel filled earth about 8 inches away from the redbud I sought to remove with as little damage to the roots as possible. I put 8 or 9 in the tub half filled with composted manure. Then I backed up the steep drive to the woodchip-covered dirt road that crosses below the house and then turns left, up the slope, toward the north side of the house. I parked as close to bridge to the deck as I could. First the cocktail and tool were walked under the bridge and set down. Then the plastic tub with baby trees was brought. I raised the heavy tool high above my head and slammed it into the earth.

“Clang!” The heavy iron head struck a boulder hidden under 6 inches of soft soil and leaf mulch. The shock transported instantly from the point of impact through the handle into my hands up my arms and into my Egypt-injured shoulders.


I’d clearly hit something too large to extract, so I moved a few feet and made a half swing test strike. When the trees were all in, I watered them and the ones I have planted over the past week. When everything was put away outside, I moved in to sweep, vacuum, put away, scrub…

Put away… so many cool things cross my path in my work. Some follow me home.

Such a messy life with so many moving pieces. I have piled each one atop me. It’s my own fault. Or is it a quality?

I got as much done as I could…

I could run away. Across the ocean, I can’t be dragged into petty things.

London. London is calling. I love walking the streets of London. I don’t want to wait til September. I would go twice a year so many times before… before all this. It is infinite.

I can dream.

But as a practical matter, I need to clean today. And pick up. And put away.

And how can I say that I’m lonely and for me the sun doesn’t shine?

The employee injured on Wednesday may come in today. He stopped in the office yesterday to turn in paperwork.

“Don’t come back til you feel well enough.”

That afternoon, I sorted through a bunch of carts. So many cool books are flowing through now—almost all from unknown sources. But the filled carts are backing up like logs behind a dam.

7 a.m. Time to rise soon. Then to work.

What books may come… Ha!

I could run away. It is just a push of a button and the dates are committed.

Friendship? It is frightening. All my old friends are gone, it seems. COVID altered mostly. What is a new friend? I dunno. Unexplored territory. Undiscovered country.

I know how lucky I am in so many ways. The aching void that possessed me so long has turned into a forgotten fantasy. Worn out for waiting.

I will light a fire tonight when my son comes for his first ever stay-over. It will not get to 60 today. And below 50 later. And rain, rain, rain. For me, the sun don’t shine today.

The warehouse project moved forward this week. I gave the go ahead to order steel and roofing. Supply-chain issues mean months of waiting and possible price increases for those particular items. So, I was advised to get our order into the queue. And we are scheduling the grading. Two 52,000 square foot warehouses with 30-foot clear ceilings. Big boxes. One building already has an LOI. There’s a list of people interested in the other. The 7-acre vacant lot I bought along with the book warehouse has appreciated nearly 10 times since 2013.

Let’s go find the most beautiful and important books in the world.

2 Comments on Article

  1. Thanks for the introduction to Michael Dirda last week. I ordered In the Company of Sherlock Holmes and Browsings. Enjoying both. The Holmes has have several excellent stories.


    1. Charles Roberts replied on

      Thanks for writing Richard.
      He is a great guy and an amazing book guy!

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