A Treasure for twenty…

As the yellowing paper parted with its twin, I buried my face within the book. Then came rushing an avalanche of memories – the old library in Adyar that my Sister and Dad visited so often and I tagging along by their side , the old librarian in his crisp white Dhoti, the memories of the first time I read Lord of the Flies which ushered me into writing my first blog post. Ah the smell of old books. Here’s the story of a treasure that I got for just twenty rupees..

It was a couple of months back. I was searching for an old bookstore to buy my friend a book and I did find a dingy little shop in my neighborhood. I rummaged through the entire shop to find a suitable book. After some restless minutes, I found my treasure buried in the cobwebby corners of the store amidst a heap of “spineless” books. It was my favourite novel “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding. I thought I’d be happy to have found a book atlast but I wasn’t. There was a mental conflict going on whether to buy the book for myself or my friend. So I opened the book and I found this. Apparently it belonged to Ms Sullivan, a teacher in some school in New York City

Bam! I knew this book has to be mine. I think I need to do some explaining here. I’m the kind of person who has a weird fascination for things like old books, messages in a bottle, titanic , aliens and blah blah blah. The moment I saw the writings in the book, it rekindled my interest in the subject. In a way, it is like intercepting someone’s message in a bottle isn’t it ? In my opinion you gift books to only those people whom you really hold dear to your heart. That left me in a train of thoughts.. What was this teacher like? Was she like Robin William’s character in Dead Poets Society? The note was dated June 1, 2006. Now the boy would have left School and College. He is probably working now. Did he really grow up to be an admirable man like Ralph? These things intrigue my overtly curious mind. Above all, the thing that’s been irking me is the reason why this book ended up in the dingiest corner of an old book shop. Had I been gifted with a book from a teacher, I would preserve it for the rest of my life. Was it by accident that this book ended up in this state? I may never know. Yet the one thing I knew for sure is that the book was mine. As I left the shop, my purse was short of 20 rupees but my bag held a treasure that I consider priceless.

E-readers may provide innumerable facilities compared to a normal tattered old book but it is nothing compared to the satisfaction of holding a book filled with ink-and-paper, taking you back to memories that stay in your mind for eternity.

So have you ever had any message-in-a-bottle experiences like this ? Any writings in the old books you have bought? Are you also a paper-book purist like me ?

(P.S: I’m sorry for having been in hibernation for so long. I missed my fellow bloggers and awesome readers. πŸ™‚ )


About vandysnape

Hi ! I'm Vandhana. Books. Blogging. Rickmaniac. Titanic. Time Travel. UFOs. Madras. Travel. History. Quirks. Shopaholic. Sinatra. Mozart. Beatles. Amelie. Me :)
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22 Responses to A Treasure for twenty…

  1. Balu says:

    Yes, none of the ebooks would give the feel of a real book. Btw, did you find something for your friend πŸ™‚
    Happy Friendship day Vandhana!
    PS: Treasures always goes to the purest princess πŸ˜‰

    • vandysnape says:

      Ah you’re too kind πŸ™‚
      Happy friendship day Balu πŸ™‚
      Actually, I couldn’t find anything worthy for my friend. The one book I found worthy is the one that I bought for myself. So I got her another gift for her birthday. Thankfully, she liked it !

  2. Bindu says:

    I can relate.
    During vacations I spend a good share of my time at the second-hand book stores. I buy story books for my kids and many of them carry such writings. Nice wondering what sort of persons they would have been.
    Visiting old, historical places makes me visualize the original inhabitants in those settings.
    “Had I been gifted with a book from a teacher, I would preserve it for the rest of my life.” – I too would love to do that, but we never know what actually happened in their lives.
    Many of my precious possessions are lying somewhere in the ‘dingiest corners’ of my parents’ house. I left them there hoping it to be there for ever. But if someone decides to clear the place they would end up in sbd else’s hands. There they would start a new journey. In a way that is better, isn’t it?
    Beautiful post!

    • vandysnape says:

      My sister and I were just contemplating that idea this morning. Perhaps it was like the toys in the toy story movie. The books move into their new homes where they are cherished by their new owners πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much for stopping by πŸ™‚

  3. yazh26 says:

    As usual nice blog from a great blogger πŸ™‚ As u know i too belong to the category of u mostly. Jus wonder how a gifted item been in an old shop..u are lucky to grab it. I have an experience like this as my bday present…My best friend got the diary which i used to write and kept a “ragavendra photo” and happy birthday wishes inside the back cover of it. πŸ™‚ wheni went home and opened it, i found this thing :):) greatly suprized and enjoyed:):)

  4. Yes, definitely a paper-book purist. I keep hoping I’ll find a used book with a message inside asking for help, along with directions to a time portal. Then I’ll go back and save the day and came back and write a book about my heroic experience, and you can give it a nice review in your blog… : )

  5. mahesh says:

    Hi Vandana,

    Was wondering for a while if you had left the city for a vacation? Great topic that you chose to write… brings back so many memories. I was born in Calcutta and lived with my elder maternal uncle; every alternate month on a Sunday morning he would take me to the second-hand book-shops – Mirza Ghalib Street, Park Street, Free School Street – so many places. He would wait patiently reading the newspaper as I browsed through the treasures that lay in front of me πŸ™‚

    I have about 15 odd books with message from former owners that I keep separately in a box.

    One particular book and message, I am sure it has a story behind it, goes like this:

    Dearest Liya,

    It is sad that this had to end like this, wherever you go, wherever you are, I want you to know you will never be out of my heart.

    Love – Mark.

    (The heart was actually drawn with a red-sketch pen)

    The book was a copy of ‘The Great Gatsby’

    Sorry for such a long comment πŸ™‚

    Hope you will be coming for the bloggers meet on Aug-19?


    • vandysnape says:

      I was (am) having a busy month. So I couldn’t post much πŸ™‚ What a sad and lovely note
      I have always wanted to read “The Great Gatsby”.. You are so lucky. 15 books ? wow πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for stopping by Mahesh πŸ™‚

  6. ganeshputtu says:

    I own a e-reader too Vandana..for the sheer convenience of keeping my entire library in one place- i must have a total of around 300 books downloaded from amazon and yet to be read on my reader…and thats just it…when you read a book in paper form..you always finish it before you go on…but not the case with electonic readers..i love the smell of newly bought books whixh you can never get in ereaders..i love hunting the pavement shops of mount road and triplicane for rare gems and impulse purchases- which you never do when you are paying online by credit card…so books in paper form are my first love..i would even say..paper bools are like wives and e-redear is like machinichi…almost the same but not quite the same…

  7. vbholmes says:

    The smell of old books…there in nothing like it. Enjoy!

  8. sash says:

    this place is full of readers! I am hardly one. Somehow, I run away from books.
    but treasures… ah! I love them and liked this post thoroughly and enjoyed the comments on this post too.

    there is a very big treasure for me around this, too! I will post it on my blog soon.

  9. Pingback: -A-Simple-But-Beautiful-Art- « GERANIUMS

  10. Subhan Zein says:

    If I had to make any suggestions in regard to an old book you should buy, then it’s definitely The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It’s a marvel. πŸ™‚ Or perhaps you have got one already?

    Subhan Zein

  11. Cool find! I once came across a library book with a message in it. Don’t remember the exact words, but it was to the effect of: If you’re reading this, you should know I probably didn’t survive Grad 11 English and the ultimate torture that is Shakespeare. I laughed out loud in the library, and was given a stare down by the librarian. πŸ˜›

    I also prefer real books, but have to admit that I like the idea of e-readers, just for the sake of saving trees.

    • vandysnape says:

      ha ha .. That is definitely an amazing find.. πŸ™‚ I just feel these unknown book-scribblers are very interesting people ! Oh I’ve looked at e-readers in that eco-friendly aspect but still can’t pull myself together to buy one though.
      Thank you so much for stopping by πŸ™‚

  12. L. Palmer says:

    Seems like an interesting treasure. Used books often have such life and mystery.

  13. Pingback: To read, or not to read, that is the question… | Platform 9-3/4

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