The gift of a book is a lovely thing, one of the best, in my opinion. Happily, a good friend of mine and her (then) husband-to-be were of the same opinion and decided to give books as favours to their wedding guests.
I instantly settled on this rather well worn copy of Candide, by Voltaire, which until last week I had yet to read.
An interesting detail that I only noticed when I finally picked it up to start reading, is the fact that it has no bar code on the back.
Bar codes weren’t used for retail trade until the 1970s which makes this book at least a few years older than me and looking in rather better shape for it.
Although it has frayed edges and yellowing pages, the spine is not broken and that set me off wondering: how many pairs of hands has it passed through before reaching mine? How many bookshelves has it sat on? Which other books has it sat alongside?
It has certainly had a far less eventful journey than the one Candide experienced, which is undoubtedly for the best.