The Books They Gave Me

16 Jan

I stumbled upon the tumblr site The Books They Gave Me via Literary Kicks and was immediately hooked.  I get a lot of books as gifts.  Sometimes it’s sweet.  But sometimes it can get annoying.  It’s kind of an obvious go-to gift for a writer/editor/reader, and I end up with stacks of strange books that leave me wondering what people must think of me for buying me such-and-such book.  That thought-behind-the-gift is why The Books They Gave Me is so brilliant.

I read through the posts and came across a book I edited before coming across this entry for Into the Wild.  I thought it was about me.  The indie rock and post-punk mix tutorial.  The bug-eyed sunglasses.  But I don’t have curly hair, and I wasn’t the one who gave the book.  I was the one who received the book.  I was going to visit my family in Greece, and I had a long plane ride, so a boy gave me this book to pass the time.  He inscribed the title page with a note and a heart.  When my friends who took me to the airport opened it up, they teased me about it.  I’d only gone out with the boy a few times, and I was secretive about my crushes.

He gave me many books, and when we broke up I didn’t know what to do with all the books with handwritten notes on the title pages.  If I kept them on my bookshelf, they would be a constant reminder that the last page of every love story ends with the words “the end.”  I wondered if I gave the books away to libraries or second-hand stores if someone might read the black ink inscriptions and find them the very reason to purchase the book, and if perhaps the new owner would make up his own story of us.  It seems romantic to find a book that isn’t just a book but a love letter.  In the end, I don’t know what I did with the books.  I’m certain I gave away some, and it’s possible I ripped the handwritten notes out of others before donating them.  Others might still be buried somewhere in my closet between other books I’ve received from people.

I hope one day I’ll find a book inscribed from one person to another and give them a second chance at love through the story I make up with my imagination.

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3 Responses to “The Books They Gave Me”

  1. Julie Khuu January 17, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    What a cool tip! I’ve been trying to watch that movie since it came out…I’m sure the book’s wayyyyyy better though.

    xo-Julie
    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture.com

  2. happymom January 22, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    I love the voice I hear in this post. A book in the making for sure.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Kalo Mina! October 2013! | Stephanie Nikolopoulos - October 1, 2013

    […] Into the Wild. I know I’m late to the game on this one, but at least I had read the book by Jon Krakauer before. The film devastated me. It was beautiful and painful and haunting and […]

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