There was a time when most books were treasures for me.
It was restricted and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to afford books by myself just made it’s value more.
I’d sit on the book shop near my house, all evening, reading. Eventually it hit me, I can’t keep doing that to books I cant pay for, even though the shopkeeper was nice enough to let me, it just wasn’t right . Like anything art too had a price.
The answer was second hand books, there’s enough being spoke about books and authors, but I doubt if there’s any about these second hand books.
The dusty aroma, yellowish hue laced old pages, the markings that would have fascinated someone else at the other corner of the world, the foldings, the bookmarks and the very special, tiny letters to the front of whom it had been gifted to
It wasn’t for me, but of course it felt nice and like destiny that this book that he or she had once owned had to end with me. I felt like we were somehow related and I was somehow indebted to the original owner of the book.
I never quite understood how these treasures came at such a menial price. So when I had my own library filled in with my own new books I thought it’d give them all away with the same authenticity that came with my childhood treasures.
Instead this time, I wrote letters from me to the person who was buying the book like it was being gifted to them, but from me, a stranger, for children like me.
Enid Blyton to John Milton, this is how I scouted my way through. Happy world’s book day. For an intimacy between the minds of the author and the reader, and in my case, the person who had the book earlier.