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A batch of seven beautiful books, dated from 1881 to 1928, purchased yesterday morning at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon. Prices from $4.95 to $9.95. Still grieving for the ones we left behind. My son brought home a similar stack.
While we were there, we visited the rare book room. We held books in our hands from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Outside, on the sidewalk, a gray-bearded man with a new mandolin lifelessly strummed the same two or three chords. People were giving him money. About twenty feet away, a homeless man was holding a sign at the corner, still awaiting his first coins of the day.
On the way home, we talked about how so many people take their existence for granted — that is, they are so sure they exist that the thought that they might not really be here at all doesn’t even occur to them. Such a strange, strange way to live.