…there’s an appeal to this bag and this bag’s story
“Did you know the [Boston Public Library] is America’s only public library that is also a presidential library?” Bernie [Margolis] asked me on one of my first visits. “It’s John Adams’s Presidential Library. David McCullough researched his John Adams here, and later became a trustee. And let me show you the Abbey Room, which is truly amazing…”
It was on my first tour with Bernie that we came upon a pile of canvas bags down in the basement. I picked one up by its handles and saw that it was unusually deep, stenciled with “Boston Public Library,” and considerably worn.
“We’ve been using these bags for the past hundred years or so,” Bernie said. “The reason they’re so deep is so the delivery man can carry the most number of books relatively comfortably as he shuttles them between our branch libraries—from the truck, up and down stairs, that sort of thing.” Bernie picked up one bag in each hand. “It’s best if you carry two at a time to balance yourself,” he advised.