In 2005 I lived in Thailand, volunteering at an orphanage. In the town of Khon Kaen it was very hard to find English books...well, anything in English was hard to find for that matter!
One day in a tiny bookstore, while looking through stacks of books, I found a delightful paperback copy of Pride and Prejudice. I was so excited! Not only did I finally find an English book to read, I had just purchased my very first copy of Pride and Prejudice. I was in a state of complete joy and happiness.
Years later, while living in a small town outside of Chicago, some friends were over my apartment, when someone quoted Miss Austen incorrectly! My friend Bailey knew the correct quote and stated that if she had a copy of Pride and Prejudice she would prove it. So I went to my bookshelf and pulled out my copy.
We laughed as she looked at my tiny copy of the book. "Where in the world did you find this? This is not adequate at all."
Months later when I moved to North Carolina, on the day I was all packed up and ready to pull out of town, Bailey handed me a gift.
A beautiful, hardback copy of Pride and Prejudice that was published in 1963. It came with a letter telling me that since my copy of this wonderful book just wouldn't do she decided to give me hers.
Tears stung my eyes at her thoughtful gesture.
This past weekend I was in a store, window shopping. I wasn't expecting to buy anything, just having fun going from shop to shop. I wandered into a store, and on display were some beautiful books, they were hardback with cute little dust jackets in different patterns. Mostly florals and prints, all ready for spring.
I glanced at the top cover and was completely surprised to discover it was a copy of Pride and Prejudice! I bought it and returned home thinking, “Did I really just buy this book because it's cute?”
But the answer is no...I didn't buy it because it's cute.
I bought it because for some reason holding a copy of Pride and Prejudice make me feel like I'm home.
A familiar story, with words that bring comfort to my heart. Personal connections to the book from places I've lived all over the world. Memories of happy times and friends so dear.
A good book is more than it seems.