Message In a Book

Posted: April 8, 2010 in Uncategorized
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The penchant for buying books has often taken precedence over mundane shopping that I need to do routinely. With a grocery list in hand I venture out and end up in the library or Barnes & Noble, like a kid in a candy store. The brief sojourn into these wonderlands is often unplanned and maybe uncalled for. But, who is to blame when my mind takes the steering and lures me in there and before I know it I end up walking out with a book in hand. There’s a whole new world inside it, waiting to be discovered and chewed on in solitary moments. I had often consoled myself that I a posses a ‘reading disorder’ of some kind, to which I am not really looking for a cure. So I feed it.

On one such small detour I found the sign ‘Book Sale’ in the library and before I knew it I was in possession of 3 book each worth 50 cents. Rather cheap for the treasure I was lugging away.

One of the books I bought was ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ by Hemingway. I had always wanted to re-read it. I flipped the cover page open and found the most beautiful lines scribbled in black ink across the first page which was more fascinating than the book itself. It was a lovely love note from a certain Robert to his love Liz and it simply said:

Beloved Liz,

“May the bells of our love forever toll for each other”

Love Robert


I brought it home and stared at it; all kinds’ of stories running through my head associated with Robert and Liz.

 Who were/are they?  Are they still alive? How did the book end up in the library along with other used books?

 How many years old could that book be when bought, considering that the book was actually written a long time back by Hemingway when he went to Spain in 1937 to cover the Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance. From his experiences he wrote this classic story of an American, Robert Jordan, who fought, loved and died with the guerrillas in the mountains of Spain.

I wonder if Robert gave that book to Liz when they were courting or after marriage as a token of their love. Did Liz read it, enjoy it and put it away and maybe her great-grandchildren gave it away to someone and that someone gave away all the used books to the library as a gift.

 Wouldn’t I love to know the story behind it?


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