the hardback novel standing upright on your bookshelf, collecting dust. The paperback in your hand with a few pages dog eared from use.
Where have they been? You could be holding a book that once belonged to a: celebrity, ax-murderer, doctor, astronaut, department store manager. You have no idea. I am referring to the ones that you purchased used or borrowed from a library. Mostly.
One of the best parts is when you find things in the book from a previous owner. Bookmarks, notes, receipts, love letters. I’m just kidding on the last one although that would be pretty neat. I think.
Who read this book before I did? Do we have things in common or would we hate each other? Was the previous owner a recluse or partier? Were they reading this book during their honeymoon or a divorce? To me, books are like rain. They have been around the world and still keep traveling all the time. You don’t know where exactly the book you’re holding has been or who last read it. Is the book you’re reading right now the last book someone read? Was it their first? Was it the book that inspired someone to write a novel of their own? Or was it the one that lead to someone’s demise?
You’ll never know. Most likely.
Almost half of the books I own are used. Most of them either came from Amazon.com or a thrift store. I can tell you that the books I read were most likely read by women in their 20s-30s. Probably ones who are like me in one way or another, yearning to be the character in the book that lives in some big city with a corporate job she hates and with a love life she wishes didn’t happen. You know…those books. I used to read a lot of vampire books too, but I think I’ve almost grown out of those. Or maybe it’s because they are too popular to give away to a thrift store. Who knows?
Even brand new books can have a story. Who last touched or held them? Was it a disgruntled employee who didn’t want to come to work, much less stock bookshelves? Was the book being secretly read by another employee crouched in a corner before they snuck back to their cash register or desk?
When I see books and truly think about them, all of these random questions pop into my head. Books can be powerful inspirations. Or powerful tools for causing procrastination. That’s happened to me a few times. Or I could be one of the last people in this technological universe to appreciate a book with a binding, pages, and ink. I don’t read books online or on a Kindle/iPad/Nook. I enjoy holding them and turning the pages, being able to see how much I have left.
I just want to add that I practically had a heart attack when I pressed a button which deleted this entire blog. THANK GOD FOR CTRL+Z!!!!!!!
Anyways…I was going to add that today is 9/11 and even though I wasn’t a part of it (didn’t know any of the victims and heroes) I still remember it like it was yesterday and where I was at the time. I was sitting in English class in 5th grade when the classroom’s TVs turned on. We knew it was breaking news. I even remember freaking out a bit inside even though I didn’t completely understand what had happened. I even watched the second plane hit. Terror and sadness are understatements for how I felt once I understood. R.I.P. to all of the victims, heroes, and their families. It’s a sad day for our country.
On that note, I’ve got homework to do.