Posted on February 11, 2021
I’ve been fascinated by these pop-up libraries appearing in neighborhoods where everyone could afford to just buy any book they want. At first, I figured it was some conspiracy to destroy the livelihoods of mid-list writers, but now I think it’s something else: we have grown to miss found treasure.
I first ran across this phenomenon when I amassed a large DVD collection that sat gathering dust on my shelves. I could always pull down The Matrix or Galaxy Quest and watch it, but I only seemed motivated when I caught such a movie on television, often in the middle.
The love of found treasure may not apply to current generations who have grown up with everything on demand, but to those of us who lit up when a particular song came on the radio or when we stumbled across a bad print of The Magnificent Seven on some UHF channel, there was something about browsing a bookstore, pulling out books, perusing covers, reading back jacket copy, taking in the first few pages.
Or maybe their version of found treasure is the TikTok video sent by a friend or a retweet or an IG story that went to hell in a hurry. Whatever it is, I hope it’s something, because the joy of found treasure is a singular delight.