Montreal is a bizarre city, but NDG has its own eccentricities. I really want to buy a house in this neighborhood.
As heard from our waitress at the Old Orchard pub last night (if anyone sees this story in the newspaper, please clip it for me!):
It seems that a blind man who lived alone on Girouard was babysitting over 3000 books for a friend of his for a few months. This was apparently a few months longer than he expected to be housing this many books and he was getting fed up with bumping into the dozens of boxes that were strewn around his apartment.
I don't know if it was the heat or the bruised shins, but he just snapped.
On Monday night, this man dumped over 2000 of these books onto the corner of Terrebonne and Girouard in a plethora of boxes and other containers. Apparently, this collection had new and old books, some dating back to 1910. His friend is going to be pissed when he finds out his book collection has been decimated.
By Tuesday afternoon, dozens of people had already rooted through the boxes and books looking for treasures. Unfortunately, many of them discarded the books into the street to the point that there were books, ripped pages, and torn covers strewn from one sidewalk to the other.
So it was that Zimmerman and I showed up on Tuesday night to see what was left. The destroyed books were no longer littering the street, but there were still a few hundred books left on the sidewalk. There were a couple of people left going through the remains, sadly shaking their heads.
One young man kept muttering how sad it was that the books had been so mistreated. He told me that he and his cousin had come by that afternoon, rescued a few hundred books, and donated them to a local library.
Meeting people like this young man renews my hope in the evolution of the local population. We're not all selfish and self-serving.
There really wasn't much left: trashy novels, psychology books, magazines, etc. But rooting through that mess, I found the following:
- Watership Down (hardcover) by Robert Edwards. Published in 1974 (two years
- after it was first published).
- Greenview Review (it has two original stories by Beckett and Ionescu).
- Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management (the title makes me laugh)
As I sorted through the discarded books, part of me was dreading to find a copy of our own book (You Don't Know Jack). I wonder if other published authors live in fear of one day seeing their books in the discount bin brushing covers with books that didn't sell like "Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management" and "Cheese: The Processed Years".