Of Books, Readers and Notes Left Inside a course in miracles

I don’t understand what it is but being surrounded with a course in miracles is a one of its kind feeling. Whether it’s a posh air-conditioned book store or second-hand book stalls in a bazaar, the feeling of standing there is fulfilling. I don’t know what to call it but I believe that all readers feel the need to buy more books even though they haven’t read all the books already in their shelves. It happens to me too.

My shelf is filled with books, some of which I bought two months back and have not even started yet but a few nights before, around 3 a.m. I got the urge to read. As I stood before my shelf, even though there were books that I had selected on my own, considering their back story and everything, I still could not find The One. To me, The One is the book that you pull out and can read every time you get these after midnight urges of reading and I guess I needed some of those books, and mind you, it’s not always just one book. That One book can be many by varied writers and of different genres and you would still feel closer to them than all your other books.

I went to the second-hand book bazaar near Hasan Square, there are about ten stalls that are there every day. They have books ranging from classic to new arrivals and most in demands. Some of them even have curriculum books which are a great help when it comes to using books for references. Every time I’m short on cash and can’t afford to buy the original book from Liberty Books, that’s the place I go to. Even when I don’t have any money at all, I still like to walk my way home from there because the feeling of being surrounded with books calms me when I’m having a bad day. The day gets even better when skimming through some chosen titles and I find little written notes inside the books.

Now I don’t support writing over books at all! I don’t do it and I don’t appreciate people who do, books should not be damaged in any way. The stalls have very few books that have notes inside them. They are usually from the books’ previous owner who might have lent the book to someone and said something to the borrower.

I remember once reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird and it was filled with little notes along the lines in the pages which explained the meanings of the words someone had underlined. They seemed like a teacher had explained them for their student.

I remember another book in which a daughter had written to her father; “To my hero, for helping me through and through. Happy birthday, dad”. Even though being surrounded with books and buying them is a soothing experience, reading these little notes feels like getting involved in yet another story within a story. That feeling is beyond comprehension. You grow even more attached to that particular book.

In my first semester of bachelors I gave my English teacher Journey by Danielle Steel and left a note inside it. I wrote it on a paper and pasted the top of the paper to the cover inside the book. I would like to mention here that gifting someone your own book is a very tough decision. I’ve been through it. If a reader is gifting you a book, you must be special to them so you better acknowledge it. To the readers I would suggest that even though I appreciate taking as big a step as giving someone your book, please avoid from writing down on the books. Instead paste a Post It on the inside of the book. This way your memories would stay with the person if they wish to lend that same book to someone else and the book would stay clean and undamaged.

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