Happy news: Someone who might or might not be Paul Broncks (note the twitter address) is back:
And a little practical inspiration, from the Washington Post — “For Baltimore teachers heading back to school, the Book Thing is a treasure”:
A 6,955-square-foot warehouse in Baltimore’s Abell neighborhood holds something of a treasure trove for the city’s teachers.
As they prepare for Tuesday’s first day of school, educators are making last-minute trips to the Book Thing, carefully sorting through the thousands of novels and textbooks and dictionaries they can use to build up their classroom libraries — all free.
For years, people have dropped off unwanted books at the Book Thing’s doors and then gone inside to browse through others’ donated stories. Anyone is welcome to take home as many books as they want from the used book “store.” Some tuck a novel or two into their totes and head out. Others fill cardboard boxes to the brim…
It’s a uniquely important resource for city teachers, whose struggle to pay for the books they needed to fill their classrooms inspired the Book Thing’s creation two decades ago.
Dan Parsons, an English teacher at Frederick Douglass High, walked out of the Book Thing on Saturday with a loaded box in his hands and even more books stuffed into his canvas backpack.
At his West Baltimore school — where many students come from poverty and witness the city’s unrelenting gun violence up close — Parsons transformed his classroom into a literary oasis. Hundreds of books cover nearly every surface. He uses stocked bookshelves to cordon off reading nooks where students can escape into the kinds of stories that both reflect their own experiences and open their minds to new ones…
Yeah, in a better world, we wouldn’t need volunteers to help out teachers who are digging into their own sparse funds to support their students. But there are kids who need those books now — they can’t wait for perfection.