I can’t quite believe the stuff I find on the sidewalks around here. I live near Green Apple Books (one of the best bookstores in the city) and every once in a while someone sells their good used books and leaves the rejected ones in the street. I guess they don’t know about the FREE BINS in front of the store. Usually they’re books like “Your Inner Skinny” or “Windows 98 Hints and Hacks.”

But this time I got a hardback copy of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed (I would never, ever buy this or even check it out from the library, but free? I’ll take it), Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point (I read Blink but not this one yet), a couple of David Sedaris books (you can’t go wrong with David Sedaris) and an extra copy of Coetzee’s Disgrace (I’ll give it to someone). I also got Mitch Albom’s sequel to Tuesdays with Morrie – I can’t imagine it will be as good or make me cry like Morrie, but you never know.

I could have taken the French grammar book and InStyle magazines, but opted instead for the neat, dark wicker basket that held the whole stack. With all the bed-bug frenzy lately (it comes around every 10 years or so — I remember the last time) I am going to watch it carefully, as it looks like a Trojan Horse, all shiny and beautiful. Maybe put it in my freezer for a few hours to be sure to kill any lingering critters. But all in all, I’d say it was a good evening’s catch.

To top it all off, there was a small bottle of Prada cologne in the bottom of the basket. I’m not sure if it’s for men or for women, but it smells a little like the neck of a freshly washed Latino man before he gets too sweaty at the Salsa club, before putting my left hand on his shoulder feels a little like dipping my arm into a fish tank that needs cleaning. That initial lingering smell is…heavenly.

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