To Cindy

Dear Cindy, I don’t know who you are, where you’re living (though I assume the UK), what you do or even if you’re still alive. I recently came into possession of a 1958 Penguin Books UK copy of John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids with a simple “Cindy” written in pencil on the title page. So Cindy, I promise you to take exquisite care of your book that landed in my hands, as I take excellent care of all my books. I own quite a few of them, and have zero intention to keep my personal library from expanding. Books are my passion and my lifeblood; I would give up everything I own before selling a single book in my possession. And, so Cindy — whoever you are — this copy of Wyndham’s best novel reminds me why I will only read physical books until they are no longer published, because now I have a connection to you, a literary inheritance, if you will. We will almost certainly never meet, but in reading this, I will be continually asking myself “what did Cindy think?” “How did this particular book make her feel?” “What other authors does/did she care for?” And that’s the special magic of books. So I thank you, Cindy, for sharing a small piece of paper and ink that at some formed a small part of your story.

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~ by Benji on 4 November 2014.

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