Pristine pages in valuable books are the thing for the book collector and dealer. To me however, I find an inexpressible delight in markings left along margins of a text. Even underlinings , if they do not obscure the print are welcomed.
A recently purchased, previously owned book has been gently marked in a very few places. The notations are neat and in pencil. The thing is, with these marked passages in this book, I am touched by and connected to some unknown reader, and in this case an obvious kindred spirit.
The passages marked, without exception, are ones I would have marked. One of these passages, speaking of life in a country village:
"...it was good to feel the comfort of sunshine, flowers and birds.
Better still, it was good to realise that,
no matter how dark the day, 'cheerfulness breaks in.'"
It had been a 'dark day' in my village and cheerfulness truly broke in knowing that a Dear Unknown fellow pilgrim had left a waymarker just for me, just for that place in time. Maybe that other day for them had required cheer and it was found in the lovely words of the author.
For me then, it was a double blessing as we three unknown to each other were for a moment woven together in thought.