Scott suggested geocaching our spent books (learn about geocaching here). We loved the idea, but instead of going the official geocache route, we just dropped a stack inside the campground and watched what happened.
The first two books to go were Looking for Alaska and Jane Eyre. Lisa liked Jane Eyre, but I was never going to read it. I thought Looking for Alaska was a bit much. Peter Jenkins just left too many trivial details in for my taste. At once point, he specifically mentions the make and model of the pen his daughter is using to write in her journal. Pointless. I won’t tell you the brand to ruin the story. I skimmed through it and put it almost directly in the out pile. I was surprised to see it go first.
A relatively recent copy of Dwell magazine went quickly too. Oddly, a copy of Metropolis magazine stuck around. Either the taker of Dwell had already read the slightly-older Metropolis (Lisa theory) or the husband that took out the trash knew his wife liked reading Dwell and didn’t realize Metropolis was basically the same shit in another wrapper (my theory).
This Is Your Brain on Music went next. I wasn’t thrilled with this book, but it was interesting in parts. Evidently we like songs that are both familiar but also thrilling. If they’re too familiar, they’re trivial. If they’re too thrilling, they’re confusing. That’s pretty much what I learned in 200+ pages. The next day it was returned to the pile.
Soon the only items left were the Metropolis magazine and Going Postal, what I thought was the best book in the stack. I mentioned this to Lisa and she got curious, second-guessed passing on it, and grabbed it back. (She loves it too.)
Later that night I finished Loneliness and Time, a book that started out great and really dropped off, and we added it to the stack before we set off to another campground. We’ll do this experiment again. Thanks for the idea, Scott!