I turned the pages with anticipation, the corner edges of the second hand book I’d just purchased slightly bent over outwards revealing their previous use.
A few pages in, after the obligatory paragraphs from critics outlining their love for the work, and passing a quick note about the author, surrounding the title page were lines of simple hand written text. They stood out clearly from the rest of the introduction pages, and grabbed my attention.
Reading the note was nearly as inspiring and heartfelt as the actual written content of the book – arguably more so. It left me wondering where the previous owner of the book had been after reading the note, and equally, where I would be going next.
The note read: “Jozzer, An early birthday present and something to keep you inspired before your next adventure. I hope the saving goes well and you get away ok. I also hope that the trip brings you good adventures, great experiences and many happy memories. Good luck in your next chapter, and keep me posted on all that you do. I’ll be thinking of you whilst I’m in SA, and I’ll miss you pal. You’re such a great friend. Much love Macca.:)”
This left me wondering where both the writer of the note or the recipient of his or her kind words had been or were going. Where had they been? What did they see? Did the book inspire them? Had they spoken again during or after the scheduled trip?
The book in question was Wild, by Jay Griffiths – her journey into wild spaces defined by the elements and vividly bought to life on the pages. I’m not even a third of the way through it yet, but I’m looking forward to reading the rest soon. It’s left me excited about my upcoming trip to the Highlands of Scotland for Christmas, my first longer-than-a-weekend escape from London since my summer trip to the Swiss Alps.
When I finish the book, I’ll pass it on to a charity shop. I’m going to add my own small note, hopefully leaving a small piece of inspiration to the next reader.