Friday, May 30, 2014

Day CXIII: Used

"I like shopping at thrift stores because I like wearing other people's stories."

I do almost all of my book shopping at Magers & Quinn in uptown Minneapolis. Simply, it's the most remarkable bookstore I've been in. It's sprawling, for one, lined with shelves and shelves of books: fiction, nonfiction, children's, self-help, rare collections, this war, that religion. It's all there.

And as I am want to do, I make plenty of purchases, most of which are used books. Here and there, a new novel will make its way to my hands, and I'll have no choice but to bring it to the counter and hand over my lunch money. Usually, though, it's tomes that have already had their share of hands, of cracked spines, or dogeared pages. 

Every once in a while, I'll start a book with a whole new dedication on the title page. It happens so infrequently that it never fails to bring a massive grin to my face. A mother's encouragement, a grandfather's sentiments, a friend's inside joke. 

The possibilities are limitless.

I finally found a used copy of The Alchemist and was pleasantly surprised to find a little note when I opened it up at the Lake Harriet beach.

And, like that, the book is no longer a singular story. It belongs to me, to "Heidi," to "Christina." To us, a quiet, unknown group of readers, bound by words, by paper, by thoughts.

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