I am totally addicted to this presidential race. I've been reading blogs, watching way too much TV news, listening to lots of radio and I've already used up my free visits for the month of November to NYTimes.com. I have my candidate and I care deeply about his getting elected. But, in the wake of elections we've seen in the Middle East, threats to voting here in the U.S., and the huge efforts being put forth by volunteers in terms of defending the vote, I'm particularly feeling grateful. Grateful for the millions of people working for candidates, grateful for the candidates on all sides of the issue who put themselves out there in these elections, and grateful for the millions of voters, especially those who turn out in particularly high numbers in the Mt. Airy, Chesntnut Hill, and Germantown area. I also recognize the flaws in our system, the ongoing "discussion" around who has the "right to vote" and how that should be exercised. I recognize the shortcomings of how we have administered justice, of how we have acted in the larger world, of how we have treated each other and our environment. But I am still grateful for this shining but flawed system that we have.
I want to take a little step in expressing that gratitude by having a VOTING CANTEEN at our bookstore on election day, this Tuesday, November 6 where everyone who is on their way to vote or who has already voted, can stop by for a free cup of coffee, hot tea, hot cocoa, soda or juice. We also have some leftover Halloween candy to give you a little sugar and caffeine shot to get you through the day. We'll be open longer hours - 6:30 a.m. before the polls open until 8:30 p.m. after the polls close. We don't require proof of voting - we trust you. So we hope you'll vote and then stop by and chat or just pick up a cup and go about your day, with our gratitude.
If you also are grateful, you can help our efforts. Wouldn't it be cool if we could offer home made treats to supplement our leftover Halloween candy. If you can bake, or buy, something, let us know by phone, 215-242-0854 or email, email@example.com, or drop it by and we'll pass it out. If you want to help host the VOTING CANTEEN, drop us a line, give us a call, or just stop by and help out. If you have a car and a favorite polling station where you think the poll workers could use some encouragement, give us a call or an email and tell us when you're coming and what you need and we'll try to have it ready for you to pick up and deliver. For those of you who are reading this blog in an email, we have attached a copy of a flyer we're putting around inviting people to the VOTING CANTEEN. We'd love it if you'd print it out and spread it around. See if you can leave one in your polling place. Together, let's put a little celebration into the act of voting.
In terms of bookstore news, it's November and we're taking booksfor donation or trade credit. We've already gotten probably 40 boxes of books but we're open to more up until Wednesday November 21 at noon when we will take off for our Thanksgiving with family up in State College. The embargo on books will then continue through the holidays and we'll next be accepting books the whole month of February. Thanks to all of you for your support of our efforts to recycle books, continue to have a place where books are available and treasured, and create a community center in our little corner of Mt. Airy. Thanks also for respecting our limitations on accepting books so we don't drown in them all the time, just once every three months.
Go forth and vote. Then join us for coffee.
Greg and Cynthia