Sunday, February 10, 2013

Trading Books

Gondolas, Venice, Italy
These days are among the slowest of the year for tourist traffic on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the famed art avenue with more than 100 galleries. The weather is cold, and with far fewer world-class events scheduled in the city than in summer, sometimes only a handful of people browse the shops. My wife and I share duties tending our gallery—The Steven Boone Gallery.  It is almost a joke when we call each other and realize that not one person has visited. And then, there are days when of the four people who appear, two are trying to sell something or asking for donations.
Masai boys, Serengeti, Tanzania

The other day was like that. An older man came in, looked around cursorily, and asked about a large photo on my wall. I said it was taken in Kashmir, India. “I bet you do not have many people who see that and who have actually been there—like me!” We began talking and he took a card out of his pocket to hand to me. It promoted a book he had written  a few years back,
about his journey around the world in 1968. I told him that I had gone around the world in 2008, forty years after him,  and had lived in 19 countries. “I visited 27 countries,” he said. I responded, “Wow, you must have been moving fast.”

We ended up trading books. I gave him a signed copy of my award winning book, A Heart Traced In Sand, about the struggle of my daughter Naomi, who died of cancer at the age of nineteen. He promised to send me his book about his travel adventures around the world in 1968.

Dal Lake, Kashmir

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