Perspective: Leave A Footprint In The Next Book You Read

Jul 26, 2019

Think about this the next time you pick up a book: You are holding history. 


I'm talking about personal history. Other people's lives, moods ... even maybe what they had for breakfast. 


Books tell a tale beyond the story within. 


I always check the publishing date to see when a book started its journey into other lives. Then I look for clues about those lives.  


I have found poems, letters, cash, personal notes and scribbles jotted into the margins. I don't cringe at such markings. I see a message from another reader.  


One of my favorite discoveries is embedded in a thick volume of "The Complete Works of O. Henry," the 1936 edition. Flipping through the pages, I found a crisp but preserved four-leaf clover.  


It shall remain in the book as a nice surprise for future readers. (Rather fitting — O. Henry. stories offer many surprises.) 


I also should leave a note telling how I found the clover, something I wish the previous owner had done. 


When you finish and put down a good book, it remains a part of you. So why not give something back? Put part of you back into the book. 

Of course, there are unpleasant surprises. Like I mentioned, someone's breakfast — a jelly doughnut or coffee stains. 


Most findings, however, are treasures. 

In books I finish I jot my name, the date and rate it up to five stars.  


But I should say more. We all should leave a footprint. 

By the way, when flipping the pages to rediscover that clover, I found another ... and another ... and another. I found 28 four-leaf clovers. 


Now ... tell me that book doesn't have a personal history.  

I’m Lonny Cain … and that’s my Perspective.