Gardeners | People hidden in second-hand books (Essays)


Liang Junnian, a teacher at the 54th Middle School in Urumqi, Xinjiang, first found people hiding in books when he was in college.At that time, second-hand book stalls were often placed at the entrance of the university. The bookstall owner often laid out the books in a line casually. Perhaps an electrician’s manual was placed next to a famous book of the world.I especially like to visit the old bookstall, just the kind of aimless casually flipping, will let a person very carefree.Most of the time, I would read from beginning to end, and when I came across a book I was interested in, I would squat down and flip through it. If I thought it met my reading needs, I would buy it without hesitation. For this reason, I found many good books on second-hand bookstands.One day, I read a second-hand book in the dormitory, idle and bored, with the first page, suddenly found that the former owner of the book in the title page wrote a sentence — nothing can not be past, there is a natural friend.The writing was not handsome, even a little scrawled ugly, but for a moment it shone like a light on me.It is estimated that the original owner of the book is a young man who has just experienced a tortuous life and wants to solve his inner perplexity through the book.So, like knitting a sweater, I began to connect with the past of the original owner. Who was he?Where is he now?Has he solved his puzzle yet?Does he still read?This curiosity led me to discover that second-hand books not only hide stories, but also people. So when I read second-hand books again, I would casually glance at the title page to see if there were any traces left by their former owners.The harvest is full.I saw the former owner of a book write on the title page, bought this book by bicycle, happy!The owner’s excitement lurks between the lines.I also found a schedule written by my former owner in a second-hand book, in neat, clear handwriting, which gave me the impression of a self-disciplined man.I even found half a page of love letters in a second-hand book, this page of incomplete love letters let my heart give birth to infinite reverie, they finally together?Later, I gradually in second-hand books, found a lot of people.Some people left an ink mark on the book, it is estimated that the pen has just sucked up the ink, some left a paragraph on the book, recorded the mood at that time.I even found dry grains of rice in some of the pages, suggesting that the owner was having a good time reading while eating.I saw these clues, and SLOWLY I found these people hidden in the book.I always thought this kind of search was a strange hobby, and I was always shy about telling others about it until I read Jia Zhangke’s article.When I read Jia Zhangke’s film notes, I saw him write in his article: When I was young, I always liked to stand on the street and watch people, and those people I didn’t know always gave me an inexplicable warm feeling.Sometimes I suddenly wonder if they are living the same life as me, their room, the food they eat, the objects on their table, their relatives, their troubles.When I read this, I felt a pang of sympathy.Like Jia Zhangke, I often stare at the handwriting of the owner of a second-hand book in a daze. What is he thinking when he writes these words?Where is he now?What are you doing?How many years have passed, and what has he become?I never understood why some people would be so keen to buy letters from famous people, until I realized that, apart from the consideration of investment value, many people could own a part of a famous person’s life because of a letter.Every time I find a bookmark, stamp or a faded book purchase voucher left by the former owner in a second-hand book, I will be very excited, thinking that this is a clue left by the former owner to me that only two people can understand, and we will all go back to the past by crawling along the clue.In a second-hand book, I saw the former owner’s dense annotations.Beautiful or thought-provoking sentences, variously marked and carefully annotated, with personal opinions and emotions hidden between the lines.I don’t know why this book fell out of favor, but it has been passed into my hands many times. One thing is for sure, these thoughts and feelings, like boats, have passed through and finally reached my hands.For me, the snippets hidden in second-hand books are a true record of someone’s real mood in a certain time and space.A few years later, as a stranger with destiny, he accurately captured these sentences and the emotions in them, just like catching fire. Later readers travel backwards in time and space, and follow the clues back to the past to participate in a moment of the writer.Those who hide in the book, the ink they inadvertently leave behind, is a bonus for another reader, a time marker to give unlimited reverie.As for the other reader, we are friends even though we don’t know each other.Source: China Youth Daily client

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