Getting the train home

One of these has been my favourite book for 54 years and cost 1/- in 1968.

The other is the same age, in mint condition and cost £3 on eBay last week.


There is a mixture of joy and melancholy here. Mine was read every day, the dust jacket disintegrated and when the spine went I repaired it as best I could with electrical tape (blue to match the sky in the picture) from my dad’s toolbox.

It’s so fragile now and pages fall out even if I just lift it so I dare not open it. It has been loved to the edge of existence.


The other one is nearly mint, the colours are bright, the pages are crisp and unworn.

It was never loved by eager hands and wide eyes like my book has been and this has made me unexpectedly sad.


Here’s to old and worn, creased and crumpled, to life that’s been lived and loved.


Little book, welcome home.

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