The Traveling Books

You find yourself in a bar and you see an abandoned book lying on a table. Judging by the exterior, it seems quite an old book. It might have been misplaced or dropped, perhaps even temporarily deserted by its owner. You notice, after a while, that it is still lying alone and unmoved. Curiosity draws you nearer, enabling you to read the information on the spine, ‘Money In A Maelstrom’, ‘J.W. Beyen’.

How strange and out of place. You open the book and see that its insides have been replaced by new, blank leaves. On the first page, there is a library stamp and a sheet with the dates of loaning- having been loaned only once, back in the 70s. There is also an inscription, ‘ID: Crimson’. Intrigued by the improbability of your find, you now turn the page to see an introduction, handwritten, asking you to aid in its travels.

The vagabond book has no owner. It begs for your cooperation in carrying it to a new destination, writing the date on which you’ve found it, what you were doing there and it welcomes any artistic addition to its character. The value of the book grows as more strangers leave their marks. You feel lucky to have stumbled upon such a special artifact and, even more, that you have a claim in fulfilling its legacy. As you read the diverse entries, you sense a belonging to a secret guild of unique artists and authors who have been similarly amazed by this discovery.

You find some ink, make a contribution and after you place the lure for the next oblivious wanderer, you wonder at the purpose behind its creation. Are there any more like it? Is there a way to track its origin? Will you ever see it again?

Some say that if you love something, you must set it free. May this obscure object, in its freedom, be shared as a small piece of literary love.

6 Responses to The Traveling Books

  1. anne-marie sê:

    I am not too sure that I would have been able to let it be🙂

  2. annderster sê:

    if you are wondering if there are more, maybe you should make one too.
    lovely post.

  3. Flintie sê:

    Nee hel, ek was nou vasgevang. Dit sou seker een van daai amazing dinge wees wat ek vir altyd sal onthou as ek hom raakloop. Ek sal in hom skryf en daar los ook. Iewers gaan iemand hom seker vat, maar dis net so ‘n mooi idee.

  4. Marile Cloete sê:

    Dis ‘n fantastiese idee! Dink julle in ons land het so ‘n boek ‘n kans op oorlewing – of sal hy gou-gou vuurmaakgoed word?

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