Last week, inbetween snowstorms, I headed out to the island of Amager to pick up some stuff I bought from a friend who was selling up before moving back to Brooklyn.
It wasn't a heavy load but it was one of the more motley loads I've had on the Bullitt. A set of drawers from a old chemists, a rice cooker, a DVD player, a vintage pasta maker and a number of books. I've read all of them before but it was time to read them again.
I buy - and subsequently read of course - an outrageous number of books each year. I have, however, developed a habit of getting rid of them after I've read them. It started in 1999. I had over 1000 books in my flat and in a moment of clarity I realised that by keeping them in my flat I was keeping them off the literary market. It was like borrowing a bike share bike and then not returning it.
I like it when people have a library at home but it suddenly didn't appeal to me. I donated them all to the library. Even 11 years on I still make regular trips to the library with books - several times a year. They don't say no to new books, only read once. Who would?
In this batch there is Kurt Vonnegut's 1985 novel "Galapagos". In it there is a futuristic device called a Mandarax that can translate thousands of languages instantly, as well as many other functions. It resembles a smart phone, actually. And it was a bit spooky to read about this new smart phone function called Word Lens.
Then there is Sartre's "Nausea", Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and a Danish translation of Weber's "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism". Not show is a collection of Dr. Seuss stories for the kids.
Sending books onwards to benefit other readers is kind of like bicycles. I gathered today some old kids' bicycles in the back yard of our building and cycled them down to the good people at Baisikeli. Not surprisingly, I trailed another Copenhagen transporting something big on their bicycle. A mattress by the looks of it.
Unlike books and bikes, friends stick around. The library doesn't want them. Some of our friends live in the suburbs and take the train in when the boys go out at night. Good thing I had the Bullitt. It was tough to get it up to speed but then it rolled along nicely. Especially after a few drinks.
It is mostly the kids that I schlep around on the cargo bike. Here are Felix and I heading home in the snow one evening.