Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Books and Old Books

While shelving books at the bookstore I am always aware of what is happening beyond the shelf where I am shelving. I'm listening for the phone or I am listening for customors who might need help finding a specific book or author. I am aware of sound and conversations. In other words, I'm alert to our guests at the bookstore.

One evening while I was shelving books in the Fiction section I overheard two young boys briskly talking. (I can hear my grandpa calling them whipper snappers). One boy said to the other, "These are old and used books. I don't think they would have it." Before I could ask them if I could help them on their book quest they had quickly left the store. In that flash of an instant, I had a childhood flashback. A positive flashback. I was taken back to my living room whereI was watching an after school special of some kind that involved a scruffy but literate cat. The cat was explaining that even though a book is a used, or pre-read, it is new to the person who has never read it before.

This tidbit of knowledge was groundbreaking for a pre-teen sitting way too close to the T.V. eating Lucky Charms. I sat there agape in this revelation. It made sense! It was an epiphany that launched me into the wonderful wide world of books. No, books didn't have to have shiney covers to be good books. To this day I prefer the dog eared books. I prefer books that contain underlined passages and side notes. I want to get into the psychology of the previous readers. I want to know the life that this book has endured. I want a book with a personal history. Most of all I want the book to feel love when it is placed under may care whether it be for a week or a lifetime.

Moral of the blog entry: A used book is a new book to you if you have not read it. Experience new books. Anthology has hundreds!

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