Saturday, July 16, 2005

Oh My Goodness

I have not always loved old books in the same way that I love new books. But lately, due to budget considerations, I have acquired the habit of checking out the used books for sale section at our library, have taken to poking around in used bookstores, and find myself going to goodwill stores just to see if anyone has donated any interesting books.

Maybe it is because I myself am getting older, but my opinion now is that there is something endearing about a well-used book. It has a history that new books do not yet have, especially if previous readers have left their marks in the way of notes in the margins or highlighted lines. I am sorry to say that this used book had no such markings. It is in pristine condition, save for the intimate and concerned note on the flyleaf.
I was slightly embarassed to come across this note, to know that B obviously did not read the book L gave him.

I bought the book, and brought it home. I plan to read it. I plan to highlight passages that speak to me. And I will continue to wonder if L is still praying for B, or if B might one day find the peace and love that L spoke of.


  1. boy, imagine coming across that. You didn't mention the title of the book......since I tend to read into things, it sounded like something a parent would write to a child. maybe not. and why am I even guessing? I write in the books I read, underline, notes, then if I loan them I encourage others to edit as's always interesting when you get two or three people reading something and making different notes. Funny how we can all read one sentence and come up with many different interpretations.

  2. I have every confidence you can answer those meme's.......I had trouble with the money one. Frankly I'd just have given a blanket answer of "give it all away"....much easier. Just pick the questions you like, like food and tv shows.....:)

  3. Ayekah, the book was Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis.

    --annie (who has to comment anonymously on her own blog because the comment thing says I have the wrong password!)

  4. i love coming across love notes such as the inscription -- i was in an antique shop and still rue the day i didn't have enough money on me to purchase a framed love letter from like 1890; it was magnificent.

    (at least, like ayekah, i am assuming that is what it was...dunno, because i didn't read the whole thing...)

    annie, you can post under your own name. we won't tell you who you were (??)

  5. Almost our entire library is pre-owned, as they say in the car business. Both Rob and I derive a lot of pleasure from used book stores. Although it was irritating to have to buy a whole extra suitcase to lug home the theology books Rob bought while we were in England.
    What a sad little pleading note that is. And in that treasured classic, Mere Christianity, no less! It should be in some sort of archives about how not to witness to friends and influence people.
    My sympathies lie with B, who really had no choice but to refuse to read the book so passionately put upon him by L. It would be the only way for B to maintain his/her personna intact. Yes, sad.

  6. Here is how I imagined it:

    I think it was a love note, of sorts. I assume the young woman decided the young man was not "Christian" enough for her, and therefore it was not God's will for them to be together. (God gets the blame for a lot of stuff like that, doesn't He?)

    At any rate, I believe she was concerned for his soul, but that was probably little comfort to the young man who no doubt felt the sting of her rejection more than the need of his soul.

    And like Connie said, it probably was not the best way to witness to a friend.


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