Friday 6 July 2012

a book with a story to tell

Books have stories to tell beyond their contents. Format, design, the fact of publication: all these things add layers of stories.

Ownership is a story too.

Second hand books often contain traces of their past owners. Bookmarks, news clippings, notes, their name or nameplate, inscriptions, annotations. Yesterday, I picked this book up at a second-hand bookshop:

This book has this photograph stuck on the first inside page:

Sadly, the previous owner did not write his or her name in the book. I would love to know who these people are. Was one of them the owner of the book? Perhaps the person who took this picture owned the book? It's unusual to stick a photograph inside a book. did one of these people have a special connection to the book for the previous owner? Perhaps one of the adults in the picture is a poet? A teacher? I may never know. But I do know that, as with so many other second-hand books in my collection, this is one with a unique story tell, one which no other copy of this book can duplicate.

1 comment:

anna tambour said...

It's this sort of personal spoor that makes used books so much more than the same book, new. You put the attraction to these books perfectly. Perhaps you could reveal some other books in your collection with stories that we can only imagine.