Saturday, April 15, 2006

Star-Crossed Book Lovers

There've been several articles in the Toronto Star of late about how the internet is helping people form live communities - MySpace, and now (finally) they have caught onto Bookcrossing. I've considered engaging in this form of aleatory reading for a while, but the website shows that the most left books are thrillers & romances. I prefer the chance meetings with strangers in the form of notes, postcards, lists that you find in secondhand books. My prize of this collection is a postcard from the nineteenth century that I found in a lovely edition of Sir Thomas Wyatt at G David in Cambridge. Usually it's just receipts or old bookmarks.
I use strange things as bookmarks - in my copy of War Variations right now is a very odd list that I found at Dupont station and think might be director's notes from a rehearsal. I should really send it to Found Magazine but I like it.
I sold some books last week (sob! mainly theory & Canadian poetry, interesting that they were the first to go -- or maybe the most saleable) at the secondhand bookstore across from where I work, and when I went in the next day with another bag of books, the clerk gave me an envelope that he had found in one of the books (he couldn't remember which, durn it). There's a photo of some orchids with a message to me on the back from someone called Paul...
Three days later, I found him in my badly-filed memory banks. Knowing which book the card was in would have helped. But it did make me wonder what else the book mountain holds?

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