The life of books – When people share

A couple of weeks ago, I paid a visit to an old telephone booth in Berlin. Nice, you could say, but what is special about that? Well, this specific telephone booth was completely filled from bottom till top with all kinds of books. Old, new, fiction, non-fiction, big, small, but one thing they had in common: they were all placed there by a previous owner to be passed on to the next reader.

I love this concept of sharing books for free. You give a book a new home and replace it by a book that you are ready to pass on. Sometimes, if you are really lucky, you can find some real jewels. Maybe that one book you have been hoping to read for a while now or a great classic.

Thanks to a very nice person,  I went home with a German copy of ‘Sophie’s world’ by Jostein Gaarder and a series of books about Commissario Brunetti. I had never heard of the author Donna Leon before, but since the books were in a good state, compact and seemed interesting enough, I decided to take two of them with me on my travels through Indonesia.

That is how I came to read ‘The girl of his dreams’ on the long train ride from Bandung to Yogyakarta with the sound of air conditioning buzzing in my ears. I almost finished it in one session of reading and not just because there wasn’t much to do on the train. I really enjoyed my first encounter with Commissario Brunetti, his family and colleagues. I followed the thrilling storyline with pleasure, but was surprised by more intellectual aspects appearing in the book as well.

On the train from Yogyakarta to Probolinggo and then further to Banyuwangi, I started reading ‘About face’  by Donna Leon. Although it evolves around the same main character and again in the city of Venice, it can interest me enough so far to continue reading and to look forward to reading the rest of the books, waiting for me back in Berlin.