By Amy Flora

Place: Scout Lodge, Hackney

Time: May 14, 2016

What was happening: I have always found the best use of a Saturday is to go stomping about. Living in large cities has afforded me the opportunity to explore near endlessly. This particular day took me through Hackney, a part of London that is very close to my heart. Exploring on foot is such a unique way to see side streets and tiny shops, but, more important, to stumble upon second-hand book sales. Browsing second-hand books is such an emotional experience, where you evaluate books on so much more than subject matter. The tactile experience is often the most important one, seeing how a book has been preserved and loved by another.

Walking through Hackney, we saw a handwritten sign directing us to a book sale. Never one to turn down the opportunity I charged on. What we found was so much more than we could have expected. The book sale was held in a Scout hall. It was one big room that had clearly been used by thousands of children. It immediately brought me back to running around similar halls as a child, starting all kinds of trouble. The truly beautiful visual was the sign out front. It was metal and hardly new, but very striking. It gave a glimpse into how many years this building had stood and how many children escaped the outside world here.