Take a book, leave a book, see what happens

The Little Free Library on McLeod Street occasioned a day of unexpected pleasures, in spite of COVID-19 Photo: Vivian Croll

By Vivian Croll

A couple of weeks ago when my husband and I were out for a walk, I took a few books home from one of the Little Free Libraries, but I had no books to leave in return.

Back home, I decided to “edit” my bookcase and fill up a canvas bag with books. For our daily walk, I thought to bring my books back to the same box from which I had taken. The destination was set, this would be our route. There are many Little Free Libraries closer to my house in the Glebe, but I wanted to go back to the one on McLeod Street, to return books where I had taken books. At the same time, walking a greater distance was a good goal.

I proceeded to unload my bag of books onto the shelf. A couple and their dog smiled and so happened to be returning from their walk. The lady, Siri Bandhu, was friendly, and we struck up a conversation. The library was outside her house, which turned out to be a bed and breakfast. We talked about the Glebe community and its wonderful amenities as well as other topics. When the conversation turned to food, she ran into the house and returned with a menu and a $10 coupon for a restaurant she raved about. We thanked her. She was very generous.

This changed the direction of our afternoon walk and our day. We proceeded straight to the restaurant and took the food home for our supper. It was delicious – Saj bread with falafel, eggplant, hummus, tahini and a mixture of turnips and pickles. What a treat!

The point is, I wanted to share this story because I think it is worth repeating. During COVID times, we need a good story. We all have little daily adventures that lead to unexpected results. This is one that made my day. You never know what to expect.

In a very unexpected way, I am giving the “scoop” on these wonderful local businesses: the Downtown Bed and Breakfast at 263 McLeod Street, just across from the Museum of Nature, and The Falafel Scoop at 398 Kent Street, across from The Ottawa Chinese Canadian Heritage Centre.

The two books I took were The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell, and Cholesterol Cure Made Easy by Sylvan R. Lewis.

Vivian Croll is retired from The Ottawa Hospital and loves taking photos.

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