Over on Instagram I posted a picture of some book marks that I found inside a book today. Now, there’s nothing that remarkable about that as such – I mean we find book marks in books everyday – we also find photos, pressed flowers, train tickets, postcards, etc. pretty much anything that you can us to mark your page we will find and have found in a book over the years. but what grabbed my attention about these particular book marks is there provenance. Headed ‘OXFAM BOOKMARK’ these were produced by an Oxfam Book Centre in Exeter and judging by the 5 digit phone number these must be from the early 1980s.
So this would suggest that somebody bought the book in Exeter and this has now been re-donated back to us in York. And as I have mentioned before I’m fascinated by the history of the actual book – this book (The Art of Illustration by C.H. Spurgeon published in 1897) has 3 previous owners inscriptions to the endpaper and 1 book plate stuck in for good measure. Thereby it has had at least 4 owners prior to it coming to our shop and at least 1 who purchased it in Exeter.
And then there is is the message on the book mark itself:
‘Your OLD BOOKS may become BREAD for the HUNGRY. We can sell every type of book including Novels Poetry Classics Theology Text Books Paperbacks Can you help us to help others?’
Okay we’re probably 30 years on from when the Exeter shop made these book marks, however the sentiment remains. Can you help us to help others?