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Travelling with books

Or, what do you do when you have to divide and carry 900 books?!
by Plinius
August 15, 2005
The Dutch BookCrossers recently had a lot of fun buying 900 books on eBay (see article here for the background.) Next came the hard part; we had to figure out how to divide our treasures! So we had one of those happy meetings in a café in Amsterdam on August 7, where we all were supposed to pick up our shares of the eBay-books… HEAVY shares!

After dividing everything, each of us had a big rubbish bag full of books; about 12 kgs each. Binebal and I had to transport four bags, some 50 kgs of books, to a train station in the outskirts of Amsterdam, where she had left her car. If only we had thought to bring some sturdy canvas bags…

But the BookCrossing spirit came to the rescue! Skoopmanschap took his baby daughter from her pram and left her with her mother, Tearsong, in the café. He used the pram to wheel two big bags to Central Station, E-mile took the other two loads and Binebal and I tagged along. We managed to get into the train and out at the right station. Then we just had to lug the bags to Binebal’s car.

In the middle of the station hall two bags split open! We were stranded with a big pile of books! While Binebal went to get her car closer, I made a phone call and tried to look nonchalant. The other passengers’ faces were worth looking at. They all craned their necks to read a book title and then gave me a look as if I had presented them with a puzzle they didn’t like.

Binebal returned, pushing a wheelchair she had taken from her car. While we stacked the books in the wheelchair and went back and forth between the car and our mound of books to load everything, the expressions around us changed to sheer disbelief. People were staring out of the corners of their eyes, which were popping in amazement. They tried to act normal, but at least one face clearly expressed ‘Why are you doing this?’ No one was brave enough to actually ask.

But there was no answer. After all, what’s so strange about two women, a wheelchair, and a pile of books?

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