Books Hold Memories
...Maybe the problem is that I've got too many books.
That's probably it.
In second-hand bookshops - particularly the independent ones which I really like visiting - the atmosphere is very different. Far from the brightly-lit shelves of a Foyles or even a Waterstone's, battered old books are crammed up against each other in the most bizarre ways. I maneouvre myself into tiny spaces with books strewn everywhere just to find one I might like. And when I take a book out to look at it, I find the most touching things.
What's rarer, and a lot more touching, is to see actual dedications. I remember that in that bookshop I picked up a hardcover title that, to be honest, I wasn't entirely interested in. I couldn't read what the spine said, so I opened the book to find the title and what it was actually about.
When it fell open right at the beginning, so did my mouth. For someone had written a dedication to a loved one back in the 40s. That in itself is not unusual, true - and I don't see it as that unusual. But I found it very touching, very emotional: someone loved and cared for this book - and the person they bought it for - very, very much. It was sad to see it wind up in a bookshop, far from its original owners.
Books are loved and cared for and studied by people from the past, people who have perhaps passed on - but who nonetheless had their own hopes and dreams and personalities. Their books are a link to them, a link I am privileged to have.