Heaven Comes in Bins

There is a wondrous place in Boston.  It's not The Old North Church or Faneuil Hall ... and it ain't no Fenway Park or Harvard University, neither.

It's way better.

It's the Goodwill Outlet Store.

This is no ordinary Goodwill store.  It's the place where Goodwill items go to die.  Or, to get moved out the door as fast a humanly possible.  And man, it is a sight to behold.  The human drama! The maneuvering and finagling! The incredible mountains of stuff!

Here's why, since my brother Daniel introduced us to this Promised Land last Fall, we feel a profound desire to go there every time we're in Boston:

Books. 33 cents each.  I'm talking giant bins and bins and bins full of books.  For 33 cents!  Sometimes there will be a whole bin full of brand new hardbacks.  Sometimes you'll find a complete Dickens collection.  Sometimes you'll find every book on knitting published since 1976.  Sometimes it's 50 copies of the Da Vinci Code.  Sometimes you get to dig through paperback copies of all the classics.  Sometimes, as in my mom's case, your favorite childhood book--the one you've been searching for in vain for the past ten years--is sitting there on the top of the pile, waiting for you.

For me, walking into that place is roughly equivalent to what I always imagined it must feel like to walk into that one room in Charlie and Chocolate Factory.  ...The one where candy is growing everywhere, and he drinks chocolate from a tea cup and then eats the cup.  It's like that.  Except with books.

Books to the ceiling, books to the sky,
My piles of books are a mile high.
How I love them! 
How I need them! 
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. 

-arnold lobel

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