I have always wanted to read something by Oscar Wilde, so I was delighted when I found The Happy Prince and Other Stories second hand for a mere £1.50.
Inside there is an inscription for some-one called Jack. It was a birthday present in the year 2000. Some of the inscription was illegible so I can’t tell you what it said, but it represents a part of the books history.
In this case it was the books inscription.
It got me thinking about books and how they come into our lives and leave them again. There is often no way you can tell who has enjoyed the book before, or how the stories played out in their head, but every now and then a mark is left that gives a tantalising glimpse into a books past.
This is something that you do not get with a kindle. If you want to remove a book from a kindle, there is no giving it away or passing it onto a friend. It’s either archived or deleted.
This is one of many other reasons as to why books will live on even with the existence of the kindle.
You never know where a book has travelled, who has read it before you, to what countries it has been or will one day travel too.
Books can be given, bought, sold, lost found, inherited, recycled and reprinted.
They can be read a hundred different times and each time it can tell a different story.
It is the same story for every person and yet it is a completely unique experience for every person.
Every person also leaves an imprint on the book, whether it be slightly crumple edges, a tea stain or a note.
This book will survive in one form or another long after I do and it will continue to give others pleasure.
Perhaps soon it will gain other Birthday messages, perhaps another price tag. Or perhaps it will sit on a shelf in someone’s home waiting to be read again.
Who knows where this book will travel next, but it will travel.
This book has left its mark in my life, but what mark will I leave on its?
Read my review here