I was surprised to read in the New Yorker the phrase “from whence.” I was surprised to read in the New York Times the word “snuck.”

 Old joke: He: “I never mince words.” She: “You should; it makes them easier to eat later on.”

How do used books get to where they are? My Brooklyn neighborhood has a couple of those leave-a-book-take-a-book birdhouse-looking structures, and I have begun utilizing them to cut down the books on my shelves. My intention is to deposit two or three volumes and to take one. Sometimes I take two or three, but never more than I brought. My net exchange has slightly decreased the burdens on my bookcases. Two weeks back I picked up a hardcover copy of Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves. The front cover has a picture of a stone, spartan structure with the roof missing settled in a stark landscape. The publisher has placed an emblem that proclaims, “Now the Hit TV Series Shetland.” I admire that series, and I grabbed the book. The book also contained stickers that the book came from the Hagen Ranch Road Branch of the Palm Beach County Library System in Delray Beach, Florida. This was not surprising. I have seen many used books that were apparently originally owned by libraries. (I was a bit surprised, however, that the book had been let go by the library when I saw the book was copyrighted in 2018. Expendable library books are usually much older.) Often books get into private hands through library sales, but this volume also had a sticker: “Ollies: Their Price $19.99; Our Price $3.99.” (The price listed on the dust jacket is $26.99.) Ollies, I later learned, is a chain of stores that sells remaindered goods, and I was surprised that I did not know of it before because I am devoted to remaindering stores. I found that Ollies had outlets near Delray Beach.) I liked Wild Fire very much, but I also am curious about how the copy I read got to a tiny kiosk in front of a rowhouse on Adelphi Street, Brooklyn, New York. Is it a story worth knowing?

The sign in the establishment: “Courteous and efficient self-service.”

 The man pointed at my chest and laughingly asked, “Is that true?” My tee read: “BEST. DAD. EVER.” I said, “It might be true if I didn’t have to buy the shirt for myself.”

“You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you knew how seldom they do.” Olin Miller

Sometimes when I am feeling a bit depressed, I cheer myself up by remembering I can go to Costco.

“He who is sorrowful can force himself to smile, but he who is glad cannot weep.” Selma Lagerlof.

“Some men have acted courage who had it not; but no man can act wit.” Marquis of Halifax.

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