Saturday, December 17, 2011

I have taken to buying used books. In the past, I never really felt the need to buy books, as new books are expensive, and I always just borrowed them from other people or from libraries. Makes sense to not spend money, right? Especially since most books are only ever read once anyway. I never even looked at the book sections of my favourite thrift stores. But more recently I have discovered the pleasure of buying second hand books. I have begun to love searching through the shelves of books for titles and authors I know or have heard about. Today at Value Village I found a book that I read a few years ago, for which I have been keeping an eye out, but had not yet come across it until today. It made me very happy. I also picked up a couple other books that I have not read, but by authors whose writing I love. I can't wait to dig into them. And there's something lovely about buying used books. Sometimes they contain traces of previous owners and readers. At first it would bother me to discover marks and writing in a book I just bought. But now I like it. I like finding phone numbers scrawled inside the back cover. The previous owner's name scratched out on the first page. Pages folded over, sentences underlined, a bookmark forgotten. Now the books are mine. I can add them to my (currently non-existent) bookshelf. I am building my collection. I can re-read my favourites. I can lend them to other people who I know will enjoy them. Oh how I love to read a good book.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Blogger Olvie:) said...

Funny how we're alike in this area. This Christmas, I just got the fancy idea of giving used books to people as gifts. And I found lovely classics in good condition at the Free Store. You must visit this place, Jill. It speaks of you.

Blogger Sophie said...

I too love buying used books. I have done so since I was a little girl. My family would often travel downtown every few weeks and scope out the latest finds.

I however, often buy books and don't get around to reading them. But, I love the idea of owning them, and the history that they carry. When I find a great book I wonder why would anyone give this away? It's such a wonderful book? I often feel it was my duty and responsibllity as a lover of the written word to give them a home. So I buy them and place them on the shelf that holds my interests, passions and dreams.

Blogger Lesley said...

i didn't comment when i first read this, but i've been thinking a lot about this so i thought i'd comment now :)

i love buying books too. my family thinks i'm crazy since i can get them from the library or borrow them from someone else. the way i see it, i spend 10 bux going to the movies, or 15 bux out for dinner. both things i enjoy for one evening. so if i spend 15 to 20 bux on a book that i enjoy for days, even weeks, it seems like a good use of my money. plus, i'm generally bad at returning books that i've borrowed because i usually become attached to them.

yay books!

btw... i also didn't comment on your dreads post. they're looking lovely. for some reason i feel quite proud of them even though they're not actually mine. keep up the good work!

Blogger Jill said...

Speaking of borrowed books, Les, I think you still have one of mine. But that's okay - take your time.

Thanks! I feel quite proud of them, too. But sometimes I feel like too much of my identity is tied up in my hair, and I don't like that.

Blogger Rachel said...

My identity has always been tied up in my hair. It used to bother me, but I've made peace with it. When I first discovered it, I was shocked. I had no idea how much it was true until the first time I cut my hair all off. I felt like I was having an identity crisis. I feel like long hair is part of who I am. It IS part of my identity and that's OK. It's an outward expression of who I am, just like my clothes are (although I don't feel quite as OK about that). Our hair is part of us. Why not use it to speak of what we're like, what we value, who we are?

Blogger Jill said...

I first discovered it when I combed out my first set of dreads. I remember telling someone that it was like I had lost a part of myself. I felt like dreads were just really me. I guess I still have to make peace with that, because I don't like the idea of being so attached to my hair. And I want to be okay with it when the day comes when I decide to cut it off.

Blogger Rachel said...

Yes, I did find it freeing in a way to cut my hair. I felt like doing it again would be easy. And it was. But I always hated it when I cut it short. This last time, I made up my mind that I will not do it again. I always bemoan my hair when I cut it off and miss my long hair so much. It is like loosing part of myself. I don't like it.

Another thing is that I never really liked being known as "the girl with the long blonde hair". I wanted to be more than that. I now feel secure that I am, indeed, more than that and cutting my hair was important, I think, to discover that. I'm no longer known for my hair - in fact, most of my friends nowadays never knew me with really long hair, certainly not past my waist. So that's good. It's good to know I can still be "me" without long hair.

But I am going to keep it past my shoulders from here on in, let me tell you!


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