What she didn’t know until later was that within the next few days, her foster father managed to trade some cigarettes for another book, although this one was not for her. He knocked on the door of the Nazi Party office in Molching and took the opportunity to ask about his membership application. Once this was discussed, he proceeded to give them his last scraps of money and a dozen cigarettes. In return, he received a used copy of Mein Kampf.
Books everywhere! Each wall was armed with overcrowded yet immaculate shelving. It was barely possible to see the paintwork. There were all different sizes and styles of lettering, in the spines of the black, the red, the gray, the every-colored books. It was one of the most beautiful things Liesel Meminger had ever seen.
The mayor’s wife, having let the girl in for the fourth time, was sitting at the desk, simply watching the books. On the second visit, she had given permission for Liesel to pull one out and go through it, which led to another and another, until up to half a dozen books were stuck to her, either clutched beneath her arm or among the pile that was climbing higher in her remaining hand.
That afternoon, before they returned home, Liesel and Rudy consumed six apples apiece within half an hour. At first, they entertained thoughts of sharing the fruit at their respective homes, but there was considerable danger in that. They didn’t particularly relish the opportunity of explaining just where the fruit had come from…. Unaccustomed to such luxury, they knew it was likely they’d be sick. They ate anyway.