What did the old book tell me?

There are a lot of books in our home library. This story, novels, dramas, many poetic collections. Take any and read. When I’m sick and I’m at home, I enjoy reading books about traveling, about adventures. Many of the books of our library were bought by my great-grandfather. On one of the books his gift inscription, made on the birthday of my great-grandmother almost half a century ago, was preserved. This is a two-volume edition of Alexandre Dumas “The Count of Monte Cristo”. Books in a hard dark green binding, the pages have already turned yellow, and the inscriptions on the title pages of both volumes seem to have just been made. The fountain pen with purple ink says: “On the birthday of a friend-wife from a husband.” Date and signature. I love to pick up these family heirlooms. I go with them to the portraits of great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers, who hang on the wall in the living room next to the bookshelves, and as though mentally leafing

through the pages of their lives. I no longer found them alive, but parents told me a lot about them. Gifted inscriptions on the books are evidence of great friendship between great-grandfather and great-grandmother, loyalty, touching love and kindness, attention to each other. The great-grandfather knew which books interested his wife. She worked as a kindergarten teacher, great-grandfather – at one of the machine-building plants as deputy director.

The book retains old bookmarks. Probably, the great-grandmother repeatedly re-read the episodes that particularly worried her. And maybe the bookmarks said that the reading was interrupted: the great-grandmother was in a hurry to the kitchen to prepare dinner for the family in time. And the family was big. Parents said that at a common family table, the great-grandfather often recalled the everyday routine – he was a participant in the Great Patriotic War, was wounded and finished the war in the city of Koenigsberg. In the family, the great-grandfather’s military rewards are carefully preserved. There are also awards received already in peacetime

for valorous work. She was awarded with medals and great-grandmother. In our family library there is a treasured folder. It contains old newspapers, where the notes are written about both the great-grandfather and the great-grandmother. One note is dedicated to their golden wedding – the fiftieth anniversary of a joint life. The tradition of giving each other books in our family comes from the great-grandfather. Many books were presented to each other by my grandparents, my father and mother. A whole shelf is occupied by books presented to me by my parents.

And yet I again return to the “Count of Monte Cristo” by A. Dumas. The book, as it were, is relayed from one generation of our family to another by an invisible thread linking us to our ancestors, returning us to that distant time when they were young, happy, loved each other and loved life.

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What did the old book tell me?