I usually buy second-hand books, because they’re much cheaper than new books. I also only read a book once, so buying new ones would kind of be a waste, even if you still sell them afterward. There have been a couple of weird things that I’ve found in books.
A real avid reader knows that you can use anything as a bookmark. I try to use actual bookmarks, but whatever works, right?
I have found many photos in books. On the one hand, it gives you a glimpse into someone else’s life. But on the other hand, they couldn’t have cared that much about the people in the photos if they used it as a bookmark and then promptly forgot about it.
Once I was browsing at one of my favourite second-hand bookstalls at the farmer’s market and I saw Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’. I picked it up and papers fell out of it. They were all new paper articles about vampires and how they could possibly exist. That was very weird for me.
Then there was another incident. It was like something out of a movie.
The other incident
Again, I was at the farmer’s market and I went to a bookstall as my mom walked around looking at avocados and such.
I started looking through the books and the name ‘Paulo Coelho’ caught my eye. I like his books and have read most of them.
This one was called ‘The Journey’ if memory serves me right. I hadn’t heard of this one, so I flipped it over to find out what it was about, but there was nothing on the back.
All the books are in plastic bags to prevent damage. They sealed all the bags, except for this one. I took it out of the bag and when I opened the book, I saw that it wasn’t a novel. It was a diary with quotes from Paulo Coelho at the bottom of every page.
What’s interesting is that someone had written in it. Only a few pages, but still.
I had to decide whether I was going to read. Between the covers of the book I was holding were the most private, personal thoughts of a complete stranger, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t intend for anyone to see it. So, I put the book in the bag and placed it back onto the shelf.
I’m just kidding. I read it.
If she (from the handwriting, I assume it’s a woman) didn’t want anyone to read it, she shouldn’t have sold it to a second-hand book business.
The diary dated back to 2005, and most of the entries revolved around her visit to Dubai. I got the feeling she was married, but she wrote about many other foreign men … What a busy lady – very busy indeed.
Kind of like in a movie
That’s the gist of the story. In hindsight, it’s not very interesting. This is the kind of thing you often see in movies where the lead character stumbles upon a secret map or diary and has to go on a journey that will lead them to some life-altering truth or treasure.
What did I do with the information in that diary? I judged the woman’s moral values (or rather the lack thereof) and then blogged about it.
Secretly I hope that she will read this post.
I think I’m a bad person. Oh well. Here’s to finding weird things in second-hand books.
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