Used Books & Hidden Treasures.

I recently ventured to a local used book shop to stock up on books as I wait for my little prince to make his grand entrance. The days are longer now, filled with longing and impatience. Reading is helping to pass the time and occupy my mind.

This year I set a goal to read 12 books. One book a month. It’s June and I’m halfway through book 11.

My “pregnancy brain” is getting a good work out and my vocabulary is improving. When I write, I notice new words popping-up to wow me. I smile, pleasantly surprised, and grow a little taller in my chair.

At the book shop, I picked out four memoirs to further study The Art of Memoir (book 8 by Mary Karr). I’m traveling down the non-fiction road, writing my own path, and plotting along the way.

Book 11, A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, was one of the purchases I casually flipped through and decided to take home.

As I opened it to read, I discovered an inscription from the author: For Ariane – Hope you enjoy my little story…bon appetite! Cheryl Tan June 3, 2011.

This is what I love about used books. There’s always hidden treasures inside.

In book 3, Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D., I found a green juice recipe on the back of a piece of paper torn from the “Daily Teachings” of The Secret. This page is Sunday, Day 70, and has a quote from Buddha on it: “If a man’s mind becomes pure, his surroundings will also become pure.”

The recipe, titled “Juice,” is written and underlined in black ink with the following ingredients listed below:

1 bunch Kale

4 stalks Celery

1 Cuke

2 Granny Smith Apples

½ Lemon

Ginger Root

Each ingredient (including the title) is highlighted. I don’t know what the purpose of this is. Is it a way of checking off each ingredient as she purchased it? Why is the title highlighted? Was it just for fun? A way of showing enthusiasm for health?

And in the last book I read (book 10), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, I found a ticket to Cass Park Aquatics Center dated July 28, 2009. The phrases, “GOOD ONLY FOR DAY ISSUED” and “SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK” stood out in bold letters.

The warning to “swim at your own risk” screamed at me. I was reading a book of mystery at the time. Everything seems risky when you’re looking for the answers to who done it.

I wonder if the person who went into the aquatics center felt risky or if they ignored the blaring words on a ticket they might have purchased numerous times before. Maybe, he/she is an avid swimmer. However, the ticket in the book would indicate he or she sat on the sidelines reading and faintly watching the water fun. After all, the ticket did make for a good book mark.

I’ll never know for sure. But I love these little clues to the book’s previous lives. The hands that held them and took them along their travels.

I have books with notes in them. Lines that are highlighted or underlined, help me peer into other minds and wonder, what were they looking for?

Lines marked to remember, remind me to remember. The words, the books, the hands and minds that connect us. The people who loved and let go. My finger prints on theirs. I become a part of their journey.

And here you are, passing along the words.

The journey continues…

Author: AshleyKagaoan

Ashley Kagaoan: wife, mother, writer, Libra, human. She currently resides in Southern California with her family.