I am a huge fan of  reading. Especially I adore books that conceal some history behind the covers, that has nothing to do with the contents of the book. For example, I am in the possession of an English copy of „Green Mile” by Stephen King. Nothing special, some might say. But what I found inside, was a dedication. It turned out that the book was a wedding gift for some British couple called Claire and Frank. They received it from person called Gill, who read this while travelling trough Thailand and got a lot of strange looks for being in floods of tears throughout. Interesting? For me it is. I like to imagine that Gill is a traveler with a lot of adventures and Claire and Frank are still in love. It is nice to think that this book has been a witness of someone’s most memorable moments of life.

There are also many interesting stories behind biographies. I am now in the middle of „Miłostki królewskie” (Casimir Roy de Pologne) – a collection of stories from the king’s Jan Kazimierz Waza court. The author, mysterious D.L.V.R., was years later exposed as Frenchman Rousseau de la Valette, although it is still not certain. He remains mysterious for today’s  researchers. D.L.V.R. introduces himself as Kazimierz’s courtier, deeply in love with a French marquise at that time. He is always in the middle of the action, helpful to the king’s love interests.
So, what are the avantages of getting books from second-hand bookshops? Except for plenty of fascinating stories to read about, we can also get involved in exploring histories of their authors and process of creation. Human’s life is always the most incredible journey and authors often have worth knowing experiences.

There is one more thing, following the zero-waste popularity, it is earth-friendly to buy books that have been used before, instead of the new ones. Second-hand literature can also be much more affordable than the new books in popular book stores. Last, but not least, in second-hand book stores people often find true gems, which wouldn’t be found in a regular store. I’d like to encourage you to go ahead and dive into multiple world of second-hand bookshops.

Hania Stefańska (2a Liceum)