By Isaac Hans (Indiana)
Choose-your-own Adventure Day!
Each and every Monday here at Summit Semester we have what we call adventure day, where we take a break from studying to have an adventure out in creation. This past Monday we had a choose-your-own-adventure day and split into different groups around the area. There were some that went and climbed a 14,000-foot mountain, a handful that hiked to a waterfall, and a group that explored the mountain town of Durango.
I was with the group of students who went to explore Durango. Once we made the drive there, we walked around to different stores and coffee shops, but the most important stop was at a used bookshop.
The bookshop, a Semester staff favorite
We had been prepared to go to this bookshop; the staff had repeatedly told us that it was their favorite place to go in Durango and we were all very excited. When you walk up the building, it doesn’t look like much. From the outside, it seemed no bigger than a garage, and there were eclectic piles of antiques strung across the lawn. But once you walk inside you were overwhelmed by the number of books in this place. Separated into many small rooms, every inch of wall space were bookshelves loaded with books, floor to ceiling. Not only that but in front of the bookcases were books stacked on their sides, sometimes also to the ceiling, to the point where you couldn’t even see what was on the shelves behind them. The aisles were so tight that we weren’t allowed to bring in backpacks because of the danger of knocking the stacks over (which still happened, to which the owner said it happens countless times a day).
After a long time of sorting through and rummaging for books, I went to the counter to check out. The owner of the shop knows about Semester and remembers the group each year.
“You with the smart kid camp?” he asked me.
I replied that yes I was with the group and gave him my books (Two Harry Potters, East of Eden, and the Canterbury Tales).
He continued, “You have to be real smart and want to learn to go to that place. You guys come every year and pick the good books…Ha! See? East of Eden, one of my favorite books!”
We kept talking for a few minutes about books and Summit Semester and then I went on my way, but the interaction made me think about a few things. First of all, how thankful I was to be a part of a program that carries a good legacy. Not only in our Christian community, or even our community in Pagosa Springs but in the places that we go. Normally our students will visit this bookshop once, maybe twice a semester, but the owner has such fond memories and a high view of the students. It also made me realize how much of an impact we can have on the communities around us just by simple acts. All we really do is go the bookstore, be polite, maybe have a few conversations, and buy good books.