Lab Girl
An Afternoon in "France"

Turning the Page

Last week I spent four hours sorting and shelving mystery novels at Carpe Librum, a new bookstore. Like me, you may have said that when you retire, you’d like to work surrounded by all those books that you wished you had read. And now I am.

I am volunteering for Turning the Page, a non-profit organization that sells donated books in pop-up stores for a fraction of their cover price. The proceeds fund programs that bring parents and their kids into DC schools for enrichment programs. Turning the Page is the creation of a charismatic Georgetown Law School graduate whose talk about the organization’s remarkable accomplishments got me to volunteer.

During my weekly four-hour shift, I am surrounded by wonderful books, all donated, none selling for more than $5.00. Customers in this newly-opened store say how thrilled they are to see a book store opening in the same mall in which a chain bookstore had closed a couple of years ago.

After my first day, I noticed that my thigh muscles were complaining about having been used in unaccustomed ways as I sorted and shelved books.

A small price to pay for the pleasure of working for a good cause.


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What a fun way to serve a good cause. Must be a bit tempting though, to buy more just as you've decluttered.

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