I’m only two thirds through Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, so this post isn’t about the story, it’s about the book.
Literally the book.
Just look at this old book and how much it’s been through. The front matter and preface, which have physically fallen out of the spine, are stamped with DISCARDED 50 cents. Inside the front cover is a card holder for a “Textbook Control Card” that I’m using for a book mark.
The first page lists “Gene Kaufman” as the only borrower of the book, but judging by the books condition, Gene is not the only person to have used this book.
I have no idea how this book ended up in my library. I wish I did. Did I purchase it from a used book store or maybe it migrated from my parents’ house or a grandparent’s house? I don’t know. I pulled it out of my bookcase recently because I am trying to read through my bookcase (and I want to watch the movie).
Anyway, for some reason, the condition of the book makes me enjoy it more. I love wondering who else has read it and what they thought of it. I love the built-in bookmark. I love the smell of the pages – they smell old!!
I love the name in it – I wonder if Gene remembers this book? Maybe he became an English teacher, or maybe he didn’t even end up reading it; the internal pages are pretty crisp and clean.
I love when an old book has markings and underlines, and cornered pages, like the ones I currently leave in my books (Gene left none!).
After I finish this old book, it will return to my bookcase with some page corners turned, which is how I mark my favorite parts. I don’t know if these parts will make it into a future post or not. (The actual story has been a bit slow moving for me although it just took an interesting turn.)
So even though I am not yet sure if this is an unforgettable story for me, I do know that it represents why I fill my bookcases with books.