People who get to know me know that I love reading, and I also love music, and my favourite place to shop for either is at a shop with used merchandise. One thing I often wonder while looking though the stacks is "what made someone buy this." Sometimes it's because the work in question is, in my opinion, awful to the point of hilarity but other times I just wonder what was going on in the previous owner’s life when they decided to buy, or sell, this gem.
On that note I saw this on the BookFinder.com insider list yesterday and I thought I would share it, Bruce from Double-B-Books wrote that while cataloguing a stack of books which had just come into his shop he found the following note that the former owner had written:
"I bought this book from the dusty shelves of an old second hand bookshop in Westgate St., Gloucester.... after dropping my mother and sister at the hospital. They were going to visit my dying father. I walked into the old roman town with my fiance and purchased the book along with a copy of Ruskin's 'The Stones of Venice V.1' and returned to the hospital with the books. My father had died shortly after they had arrived, exactly the time I was in the bookshop. I therefor (sic) bought this book at exactly the time my father took his last desperate breath and discarded his life."
I cannot think of another "thing" which people form such a close personal bond with, other than books. I too have found notes like this, none as powerful mind you, but I think this is why I feel that a good used book store is so irreplaceable. When you walk in, not only are you face to face with repository of knowledge and entertainment but at any moment you can stumble upon a small window into the life of a complete stranger who had something in common with you.
It's definitely nothing I have ever experienced with a record sleeve.
I just wanted to post a short apology to anyone who was trying to access BookFinder.com this afternoon. We had a small server problem and as such some of you may have had your searches go to error earlier today.
The problem is fixed now and everything is once again running smoothly, so if you did have issues this afternoon you can now perform the search anytime.