My thoughts on preloved books

IMAGE. My preloved copy of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

Let’s talk about preloved books.

I am not averse to preloved books. In fact, I own a number of them. But I am picky… Very picky.

It cannot be too old, there can’t be too much tanning, all pages must still be intact (duh!), it must be appropriately priced (or else what’s stopping you from getting a new one if the prices are, more or less, the same), and it must not have that strong, old book smell (sorry, I get sneezy quite easily).

Notwithstanding these considerations, what surprised me is that I really don’t mind being shown a preloved book’s history — signs it’s been under the care of another person once upon a time. Seeing these signs, like the photo above which says the book was owned sometime in 1995, makes me feel like I’m part of some living, tangible timeline.

Also, let me just say… I avoid writing any thing on any part of my books (that’s considered a mortal sin in my world, haha), but the previous owner of the book didn’t think so. I guess there’s still some reservation on his/her part since a pencil was used. This one didn’t bother me. I’ve grown quite curious, actually.

It makes me want to ask the previous owner the story behind these markings. Is the book some kind of gift? Was there a special occasion on September 10, 1995? I’m not even five then, so peculiar markings on books are the least of my worries, haha.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on preloved books? Do you also write on your books?


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