Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Used Book Adventure

I recently cleared out a bookshelf to paint it. I went through books that hadn't been touched since I read them the first time. These books, I decided, wouldn't be missed.

I boxed them up and headed to Half Price Books to sell them. While I waited for the book guy to tell me how I was going to be ripped off compensated, I wandered the store. I found this book I had wanted to read for a while.
It was just $6.99! I figured I would earn more than enough from the 20-odd books I was selling to cover this with tax. And I did. Barely. My take was less than $9. The only other options I had were to just abandon the books, peddle them for pennies at a yard sale or take them home to collect dust on a shelf. I cashed out, swapping the books I didn't want to read again for one that was new to me.

Because I had a few other books to read on my nightstand, it took about two months for me to get to it. Then, when I opened it, I found this:
That's a picture of an Iraq War memorial. Random. Some kind of place holder? I started reading. My phone rang. I reached for it and this slipped out.
A coupon that expired in 2005. Had this book been on the shelf THAT long? Was the last reader a coupon hoarder? Now, I had to know if there were more scraps in the book. I held my place with one hand, then gave the book a gentle shake.
It looks like someone was keeping tabs of how many pages he/she read. It's like how book nerds must have done things before sites like Goodreads came along!

I almost feel like I have a responsibility to hold on to these things, add something of my own, then re-sell the book so someone else can have this experience. I always thought of a book being a journey. This is the first time one has taken me somewhere before I've finished a chapter. Where else will it take me?
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