While looking through the winners from the Goodreads book awards I came across The Light Between Oceans, I though it looked interesting and added it onto my ‘to be read’ list along with a number of other books. At the end of December I had some christmas money to spend and started looking through my ‘to be read’ list to pick some books. The Light Between Oceans happened to be at the top of this list and was cheap so that was added to the cart.
When the book was delivered I had a quick flick through it and came across a seat reservation. I though that was sort of interesting as I’ve never found anything in second hand books before. As I’m sure everyone knows train tickets are some of the best free bookmarks you can find and I decided to keep the ticket. When I finally got around to reading the book I found something even more interesting. A receipt for the book. Normally thats not very interesting but it turns out this book had been bought in Colorado and yet had somehow ended up in my hands in Scotland.
This was slowing turning into a puzzle. I knew that the book had been bought at a Barnes & Noble on the 19th of July. And I know that (what I assume to be) the owner of this book was on the 08:51 train from Oxford to Reading on the 3rd of August. And then somehow this book ended up on the shelf of a charity shop in Devon where I bought it via Amazon.
This made me wonder about the owner of the book. I assume it was a woman and had been bought as a holiday read. I assume it was an older couple that went on holiday as there were two train seats on the reservation and flights to the UK are rather expensive. But what I don’t understand is how the book ended up at a charity shop in Devon and why had the ticket been left in it. Did the owner not like the book and not finish it. Therefore forgetting they had left the ticket in it. Or did they finish the book and not want to bring it back to America.
Books have two stories. The one written in the pages. And the one written on the pages. This second story is special, its not written in words. Its written in rips, creases and tears. I like knowing that story. I like knowing why the pages have been folded and the cover has been torn off. But with second hand books you never know this story. But this book I bought was different. I didn’t know its full story but I know a little bit of its journey and how it came to be sitting on my bookshelf. And I love that.