When first walking into a secondhand bookstore, the atmosphere shifts. The pages are all worn, the bookshelves overflowing, bending past their breaking point. The mismatched covers skewed along shelves in any order they’ll fit. Nothing is organized, or placed specifically. Everything is haphazardly designed with the endless rows upon rows of all different texts. Its a maze of knowledge, an ocean of wisdom and a field of wonder.
In a secondhand bookstore, everything is different. All the books have former owners, all experiencing different lives. They each have stories to tell, where they have been, who they have taught.
That Cinderella book with its bright pink coloring and stickers stuck on every page. With the rip in the corner and the worn out edges. It once belonged to a little girl whose parents would read to her every night. Holding the book close until she was old enough to read by herself, growing too advanced for the pages, moving on and forgetting the one she treasured so.
The small book wedged in the middle of the shelf, with its stark white cover and big bold text, with the red rose positioned slightly to the left. Each page adorning water marks in various places, showing the saddest moments throughout the story. It once belonged to a woman whose heart was broken, a woman who suffered great tragedy and became invested in the story because it reflected her own.
On the top shelf, barely out of reach, lodged so high is a large black dictionary with a worn spine, faded and fraying, splitting apart from being opened so many times. The pages are littered with handwritten notes, some so small its almost unrecognizable. This leather bound compass of knowledge once belonged to a college student. Spending her days locked away in the library, studying every new word she could to become the divine writer she dreams about. Once her exams passed and her degree was earned, the book became a second thought, no longer needed, sent to wait for a new owner to arrive. Collecting dust on that top shelf, out of sight.
All these novels with their worn edges and town pages, share a story, expanding farther past the one that lies within. Each cover with its dings and scraps, shows the battles they’ve faced and the love they have conquered.
Secondhand books relate to people, how each scar represents a story, how each mark showcases a memory. Books are more than how their covers appear, just like people, scarred, worn, beaten and bruised but forever holding a story that needs to be read.