Yesterday, I was sorting through a box of children's books a co-worker had given me. Almost all of the books had a name scribbled inside the front cover. These names were of individuals who previously owned the book. Some of the books had graced a classroom shelf, a home library, and others a child's bedroom bookshelf. I then began to ponder about the lives of books. I'm not speaking of the life of a particular title or a new, fresh-from-the bookstore book, but a used hardcover or paperback book. A book that has been read, shared, and passed around from parent to child, sibling to sibling, and friend to friend.
How many people have lost themselves in the pages of this book?
How many times has this book changed hands?
How many times has this book been mistreated?
How many times has this book been well loved and cared for?
How many homes, libraries, doctor offices, hospitals, schools, or other places has this book lived?
As readers, we are aware of the multitude of lives that we've lived through the pages of books; yet, how often do we stop to consider the lives of the book that we're holding in our hands at the moment, the one we just finished, or the one we lent to a friend. Never...at least for me before yesterday.
Cats are said to have nine lives. How many lives do you think a book has? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.