My upstanding citizen Mom takes all of her out-of-town friends to the Greenwich Town Dump. They go on Monday, Friday or Saturday early and make a morning out of it. Why? Free books.
This being Greenwich, the place where all garbage is taken is not actually called the Town Dump. It goes by the moniker, Holly Hill Resource Recovery Facility. So, as you approach the campus-like grounds you don’t really know whether you’re coming upon a town trash heap or an upscale rehab center.
Soon enough, you’ll come to find what many in-the-know-but-won’t-tell Greenwich residents have kept under wraps; the Greenwich Dump or whatever you call it is the Strand of Lower Fairfield County – but costs not ONE RED CENT.
We can all thank Doug Francefort for this strangely located gem. Twenty five years ago, Doug came up with the bright idea of making tossed-away books available to those who’d give them second, third or fourth loving homes; like a library without due-dates. In the early 1990′s the town built a shed to his specifications, and now thousands of books are neatly arranged by author and category: fiction, non-fiction, romance, mystery, etc. Doug was there early this morning, organizing books that were coming in by the car-trunk load. He’s one of five volunteers who do this on a weekly basis.
Early on, the Pulitzer Prize winning, The Corrections by Jonathan Frazen, was available. I happen to have paid full price for it when it first came out, so instead I grabbed some Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts and John Grisham novels. Mom, who told me she amassed her collection of Rachel Carson books from this very place, walked away with David McCullough’s John Adams in paperback.
The Book Shed is open Monday, Friday and Saturday year-round from 7am till noon.
There are a few rules for those of you who decide to make the dump a frequent stop:
1. You must be a Greenwich resident or come with one.
2. You can take up to 10 books per day
3. You must keep the shelves neat
4. No “unsuitable” books
5. “ENJOY YOUR READING”