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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

April 26, 2013


Buying used books is a bit like looking into someone’s windows at night. You never know what you will find, or if the cops will come get you.

I buy a lot of used books through the Internet. I realize the author does not get as much in royalties, but if I am not planning on a beautiful first edition to grace my bookshelf, a second hand book will do.

You never know, you might find an interesting bookmarker or maybe even a photo stuck in their pages and so if the book turns out to be a dud, you at least have something to show for your investment.

I have friends who don’t keep their books. When they are done, they hand them over to another person to read: figuring they will not read them again and perhaps another will. Over the years, I tend to keep my books and then put them on a shelf and then when I move I had to pack them all up and unpack them and put them on a new shelf in the new house and ultimately I would move again and once more I would pack and unpack books.

I always put my name in my books and then when I give them away, they have that name right there, like an adopted child who has all the adoption papers in order; the “birth certificate” goes with book via my own name.

So, when I buy used books I look for someone else’s name in the book I have purchased. I figure if the books are orphaned, at least they have a name. But sometimes I will find dedications written in the front cover. This is pure gold; the gift of a book to another with a written dedication is like an engagement ring. This is something serious. If you put it in ink, there is no turning back, you have put your heart out there on your book sleeve for all the world to see.

Recently I bought a used book and inside that cover was a touching note. “Deb” wrote a short note to “Sam.” She put it out there. It would be there for a long time. So Deb writes this (in script handwriting):

“Sam, at last a book about faith
that speaks our language!
This will touch your heart.
Happy Birthday with Love, Deb”

Did he not mean to sell this? Did he need the money? Were they no longer speaking the same language? Was his heart no longer being touched?

In any case, I own it now and I am not sure if I am pleased or sad. I think the latter.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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