The book.

the book worm
© Ryan McGuire

She turned her head slightly to the side, an attempt to avoid the assistants gaze without appearing shy, in a soft voice she inquired “Hi, do you guys do exchange?”

“Yes, we do. 50 pence for each second hand book over here and a pound fifty for the new ones.”

“How long can I keep them?”

“For as long as you like, but you can only take two books at a time,” chewing away at her gum, she paid no particular attention to the customer as she stocked the books into labelled cartons. The day was cold, she just wanted to get going as soon as possible.

Browsing through the books still on display, she was happy to be left with her thoughts: there wasn’t anything to chat about, ideal chat with unknown strangers about her welfare would only grate on her raw wounds.

The book caught her eye, it’s title intrigued her: from the looks of it, it had seen it’s fair share of  rereads. Picking it up, she read the blurb or what was left of it, flipping to the front cover, she froze on a sharp intake of breath. Her grandfathers name and signature was scribbled across the page, her eyes shone with tears.

“Love have you made any choices, only I have to get going soon.” The stall owner asked impatiently.

“Yes I have, I would love to take this one and drop this two,” she spoke with a catch in her voice, but this time she met her gaze, her discovery was already lending her courage.

Maybe nature hadn’t forsaken her, life would carry on and her losses won’t be the end.


This story was actually inspired by true life events; in my case I had moved to uni eight hours by bus away from home. This was the first time I was leaving home for somewhere so far and I felt somewhat alone. Then I stumbled upon a book my dad bought for us when we started reading (Elizabeth Gail series) this one had my sisters’ name on it and was worn out. Don’t know if anyone else read the series, but between us we had fun exploring all her adventures

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