The smell of aged books doesn't do it for me, it isn't in the dog-eared pages and torn book jackets that signify a well-loved novel, it's not the thrill of checking out the new release section, and it isn't the calm feeling of being in a place that's eerily quiet, okay maybe a little, but there is something else that gets me excited when I visit the library. It's opening a book to discover a tattered remnant of someone else's life slipped in between the pages, perhaps as a page marker, and simply forgotten. The usual find is a discarded library reciept, which I tend to enjoy because it lists what else the book's reader checked out that day, sort of like a little window into their, likely busy, life. Sometimes though I'm amused to find a photograph, or a handwritten note, or even, on a rare occasion, a little sketch. I once found a small collection of comic strips that had been clumsily clipped out and were stuck together just inside the cover.
We are lucky enough to have a small row of shelves out side our main library doors dedicated to selling old and outdate books, where my trip to the library usually ends. I scour the shelves searching for beautiful covers or interesting ilustrations, rarely am I actually in search of a good read. I am more often pleased by a leather cover that's been debossed with guilded leafing or a fancy cloth binding that's come loose. Tidbits of writing on the first leaf from the giver of the book will also bring a smile to my face. These scrawlings usually serve to remind me that the book was a gift once before as well.