Books have always been such a big part of my life. Growing up my parents would tell my sister’s and I bedtime stories often fairy tales and adventures with my Dad putting on different accents and voices for each of the characters. I was brought up to love literature and see the worlds they would open the readers up to. I loved the magic and mystery of each story often being transported into the realms of my favourite characters.
There was never a shortage of adventures when I was reading. I feel like I learned to read before I could even speak English. I had plenty of pictures books and would day dream about being inside the storybook world of bright colours and tall tales that would take me away from any troubles or upsets I was facing.
I struggled so much to learn the English language that it almost forced me to love the language and literature. Most of my time at school was spent in the library reading every bit of fiction I could find. I relished every moment I had being able to sit quietly and read till my heart was content.
When I was old enough to buy my own books I would spend hours pouring over the Internet to collect my favourite stories. Every Christmas or birthday I would be lucky enough to be showered with pristine new books to enjoy. But something about new books always made me feel uncomfortable and I would almost always find those same books at the library to read.
I liked having new books and would display them with pride in my little bookshelf, but never did I actually open them. You see, whilst I love the smell of a fresh new book, I also hate the thought of ruining them. I always believed a rough around the edges book with its pages crinkled and ends a little bent means it was a well-loved book. New books are great, especially if you’re a collector (hoarder, like me) but if you want to enjoy them, if you want to experience that feeling of being so lost in the moment that you end up reading far more than you planned to in that sitting and actually end up loosing your book mark and you bend the corner of the page to remind you of where you last were, guilt free, then a second-hand book is probably a better option for you. After all, that book was loved; it doesn’t mean it can’t be loved twice!
I love second-hand books because it’s like you’re sharing your enjoyment with the previous owners. I’m particularly a fan of the books with written messages inside, you know the ones where someone has given the book as a gift to another person and they’re written them a sweet little note on the front page. It makes me feel like I’m sharing that moment with them. It’s really quite special, it makes me wonder what the occasion was, what relation they had with each other, how they felt, did they enjoy the book, how did their book wind up in the charity shop? I feel like all those unanswered questions add to the experience.
The reason I love second-hand books way more than brand new books is because I feel like there’s more character to them. I’m not afraid to bend pages and just concentrate on reading the book. With new books I try my hardest to be careful, I don’t like to bend the pages too much in case I crease the front cover, whereas, with old books, there’s already signs of wear and tear on it.
Don’t get me wrong new books are great but I think old books have an intriguing history. But that’s just my opinion!
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday but most importantly, you proud every day!
Peace and Love