Used books can come with treasures. Am reading Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and An American Childhood concurrently as they are bound in a one volume set with The Writing Life. Found a receipt tucked into one of the pages –a perfect little history. At the Bluefield Kmart someone whose identity is forever lost, though not her shopping list, bought furniture polish, two 99 cent items of costume jewelry, orange Slice, a box of envelopes, a picture frame, freezer bags, and two brands of cigaretts: Merit 100 and Marlboro 100, filtered. Minus the coupon tendered (55 cents) the total came to $12.66. On August 5, 1990 at 2:42 pm.
The difference between the two ways of seeing is the difference between walking with and without a camera. When I walk with a camera I walk from shot to shot, reading the light on a calibrated mirror. When I walk without a camera, my own shutter opens, and the moment’s light prints on my own sliver gut. When I see this second way I am above all an unscrupulous observer.
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek