I don’t think that most young people nowadays have an appreciation for a used book. They have at their disposal the convenience of reading things ‘online’ and have little interest in experiencing the pleasure of cracking open a book or the sheer joy of going into their library. Does anyone even have a library card anymore? I remember going down to my local library and checking out a ton of books each summer during my elementary school years. When the local library was no longer an option to walk to, my mom introduced me to the bookstore. Thanks, Mom – I think I personally keep B&N from going out of business.
My love affair with books was not unknown to my extended family and friends. They would feed my book obsession which would result in late-night reading marathons. This behavior never really subsided over the years (on my part or theirs), since I can recall a midnight reading session as recent as last week. While I have come to embrace the modern era (sort of) and do read some books online; I’ve recently (re)discovered the simple pleasures of vintage, antique (old) books. I love the fact that many were given as gifts to folks long ago. It feels like the culmination of a treasure hunt to open a book and discover a heart-felt message: “To Anna, love Dad” or some similar sentiment. Just thinking about how many people have held and read the book previous to me, can leave me spellbound.
I recently purchased a book of children’s poetry at a local antique store. I was attracted not only to the title and poems, but fascinated by the fact that this book was published in 1892. When I opened the book further, I was captivated by the sentiment that was on the page. Written from a papa to his daughter in 1897. A understatement (in my mind) that this book has managed to survive 117+ years …in fairly good condition. During that time, it bounced around from one family to another as each decided to follow suit and mark when the book was received and/or read. The most recent notation was from 1968. Just think about all the history that this book has ‘seen’ and the children that have been entertained by its prose.
*UPDATE*: MaryJanesFarm has become my ‘go-to’ magazine to read lately. She has a wholesome approach to writing, beautiful photography and I feel like I step back in time with each issue. Between the covers you’ll find wonderful projects, recipes and tips/tricks/ideas for just about everything to do with “everyday life”. I’m adding a link to a PDF on a piece she titled: Turning the Page Solutions: Seven Things You Might Not Know About Books. I hope you enjoy these little factoids.