Charms of Pre-Owned Books

When it comes to books, you’re either new or old books lover. The only new books I buy are business and marketing related but when I’m looking for some novels, I get them at libraries or… at pre-owned bookstores! I think it’s because of the charms of those old books.

Somehow, I find pre-owned books much more appealing than the new ones. I believe it’s so because of their little charms. Have you ever smelled a book? Well, at least I do that quite often, to be honest! When I open a new book it smells like a factory, I can feel the dust of cutting the paper and it simply doesn’t feel right. I want my books to be alive and these, they just smell like a Thing, but not something real. Meanwhile, pre-owned books are completely different! Each book has its own smell, it just feels alive and true. There’s no doubt, the smell of pre-owned books has some magic in it!

What I also enjoy about used books is the way pages feel. Their corners are stitched up throughout time and that makes them softer and more fragile. Besides, one day, when I was reading, an idea came to my mind about a relationship between the reader and the book. Every book needs time to accustom itself to being read. You know, I mean the difference of way you need to turn a new book’s pages and an old book’s. It takes time even for a book to get used to being read. Isn’t it wonderful how time can make things alive?

Oh, and one more thing about pre-owned books, I always try to imagine what stories they have. Not the one that is written, but the story of that book, who, where and how read it? In whose hands had it been? Where was it taken? Was it read on a train or by the sea? Who was the person that read it? I have so many questions arising that it’s nothing else but magic. The magic of a pre-owned book.

You might wonder where the hell I have all these thoughts coming from? Well, a few weeks ago, when I was back in my hometown Vilnius, I went to a tiny pre-owned bookstore that I used to go to often because I wanted to find some classic novel that I could read during those dark autumn evenings. There were a lot of wonderful books but I chose two – Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities and Michail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita. Thanks to these two incredibly powerful and enchanting books, I started thinking why exactly I love pre-owned books so much.

How about you? Are you a new or old books lover, fella?


October 15, 2017