Sued51's Blog

{February 23, 2013}   Book “Stories”

After reading a comment by Annina on my last blog on Book Care and a comment by Lingering Visions on another blog, I felt inspired to tell the “stories” of a couple of my books.

First of all, I’m a saver. (I prefer that term to “horder” or “pack rat.”) I love meeting people and consider myself blessed by all the wonderful people I have met in my life. But, as we all know, acquaintances come and go; saving things they gave me or wrote to me helps me remember them and their role in my life, however brief. I’m very aware, though, that a lot of this will be lost someday when my memory (and my body) is no more, and someone combs through and discards my belongings. I don’t mean to sound morbid, but it is reality.

So…I’m starting to allow some of my books to tell their own story. Here’s a couple of examples of what I mean.

books, God Among the ShakersA one-time co-worker and friend wrote a book about The Shakers. We lost touch when she moved out of state. While going through some old stuff, I found a photocopied review of  her book, as well as a promotional card on which she had jotted a note to me. Instead of throwing these things out, I put them in the back of the book. As I continue to sort through my papers and saved items, I will find other things and add them (I know I have photos, cards, etc.) If I never tell anyone the story of our relationship, I hope someday that someone finds the “treasures” in the book and is interested in the story behind it.

John Adams, David McCulloughAnother book with a story? I have an autographed copy of “John Adams” by David McCullough. When the book came out, McCullough was reading from it at a nearby charity event. My employer’s president had purchased a whole table of tickets to the event. He was not able to attend, but he gave the tickets to our company librarian to distribute. The librarian thought the company book club members were the logical choice to receive the tickets; I was one of the lucky ones! Each table had one autographed copy of the book. At the event, a photographer took pictures of the attendees at each table, trying to sell the photographs. I did not buy a picture, but I have a xerox copy of our photo. I came across it in some papers and put it in the back of the book, along with a the ticket and brochure about the event.

The story is there if someone wants to piece the items together and read the clues. How about you? Do any of your books tell their own story?

Peter S says:

I tend to attach stories to books too, especially if they were gifts. Also, we buy a lot of used books, and sometimes we find things within the pages of the books. I once found some old Christmas cards in a book, they were about 50 years old and were sent to someone in Australia. Made me wonder what kind of journey that book had been on.


sued51 says:

Peter, that’s SO cool! I also buy a lot of used books. I recently purchased one at my local Salvation Army. The book I got was old, but it was a first edition…but it was a British printing, complete with price tag in Pounds!


Peter S says:

Foreign books are interesting aren’t they ? If I get a very old book there will often be the former owner’s name written in it, always makes me wonder about who they were.


Annina says:

Those are some nice memories, and I like it that you actually have some items from which someone can piece together the story, or at least some of it.

Like I said in my comments to your previous blog, it’s mostly tea stains and things like that I have in my books and those don’t tell much of a story to anyone else.. A couple of things I can think of though are between my Harry Potter books. I just recently noted the receipt from buying the book from the release day of Deathly Hallows and thought that maybe I should put some adhesive film on it or take a copy before the writing goes completely from it. I also think I still have a note between Half-Blood Prince with some thoughts/guesses about the last book from before DH was released. Those are some fun things I though would be worth saving between the books. Oh and now that I think about it I have a stamp in a book or two from a special event they were bought at.


sued51 says:

See? I got you thinking…you should follow through with that receipt; I think they are made to fade to nothingness in a fairly short period of time. Your thoughts/guesses at the next book would also be interesting to check out.

I have a lot more memories about the friend who wrote the Shaker book: I wrote a poem for her when her brother was in the Gulf War; also, I have a note she sent with a wedding gift, but those stories did not really fit with the blog. I think I might try to be more conscious of the “stories” with the books I choose to keep and try to construct them more often.


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