I’m rereading one of my favorite books on writing (and life), Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I love this book so much because Annie (that’s right) feels like an old friend and her sage wisdom comes through in a way that cuts right through all of the other noise in my head. A few weeks ago, when I went to grab my copy off my shelf, I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I bought a second hand copy.
This copy was well loved. The previous owner annotated and underlined passages like it was her job. Now it feels as if I’m reading Bird by Bird along with MaryBeth (the name I’ve given her) and sometimes through her eyes. Thanks to the particular emphases she’s given some sentences, I’ve gathered that MaryBeth had or has a drinking problem. I’ve learned that surrender is extremely important to her and that she really likes it when Annie is funny– these passages are underlined most frequently.
Somewhere in the middle, it became impossible for me to read Bird by Bird without wondering how this particular chapter or that passage impacted MaryBeth. And I would love the chance to sit down with her and find out how her writing is going.
Do you experience second hand books in this way?