This writer & used books – A life-long love affair.

I love used books. I love the way they handle, the frayed edges, the scuffed covers. I love the way they smell, a little musty, smoky perhaps. New books are shiny and pristine, tempting me from the shop windows of the local Waterstones. But used books tell me a story, in addition to the one that’s printed on their pages. They tell their story, from the moment I pick them up and leaf through them, inhaling their unique scent when no one is looking (& still feeling a little weird, but that’s life). I’ve discovered hidden inscriptions on the inside cover, my favourite authors’ signature on a title page and bookmarks lost between the pages. A little present from the previous owner 😉 As a writer it’s these stories I treasure most. Newness has potential but it’s unused, unformed, uninteresting. I want frayed edges, coffee stained covers and cracks in the spines, of my books…


My copy of “Music for torching” by AM Homes smells a little smoky… My copy of “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker has poems scribbled in the margins… My copy of “Room” by Emma Donoghue came with a postcard bookmark… My copy of “The Almost Moon” by Alice Sebold has her signature on the title page… I love these books. They tell a story, even when I’m not reading. 😀