Thursday, January 23, 2014


About a decade ago, I went on a MAJOR old-book buying spree. I frequented antique shops, flea markets, old book stores, Ebay, you name it. Yes, because ten years ago my children were young and I had OODLES of time to do such things--because none of them were in sports or school. I just carted them around with me. Yes, I had an enormous stroller.

ANYWAY, I was organizing my office (a little belatedly, since it was supposed to be done the first week of January) and I was lovingly putting all these books in a display bookcase, and I realized that one of the books was a fake, and inside it I had placed a 1903 copy of Baedeker's Egypt. I had put it there for safekeeping, out of sunlight, and hadn't really looked at it since.

I remember why I bought it. At the time, I was researching what a young british tourist would find on holiday in Egypt. Because they went there all the time, you know. Egypt was a prime vacation spot at the turn of the century. And I wanted to know what a guidebook from that time would have looked like.

Well, I gingerly opened the book and found that it probably hadn't been opened much since it's original occupant possessed it. There were tiny newspaper clippings and handwritten notes from 1903 inside, and then...and THEN...

I found it: a small dried flower, pressed between the pages in the middle of the book. My imagination immediately went wild. What if the person who owned this book, was wandering around Egypt and found a pretty flower and put it in the book? In that case, I had a little flower that had traveled thousands of miles, and hadn't seen the light of day in over a century.

I got a little shiver. It was a magical moment. Probably not exactly how Howard Carter felt when he first gazed on Tutankhamun's tomb--one that had been untouched for centuries, but for this average-joe stay-home mom of four, it was close.  

Very close. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That just gave "me" a shiver! Thats why I love old bookstores. You might find bits and piecses that belonged to the original owner. Just like you did.