We’ve all probably given away a book that we loved as a kid to charity, but have you ever been reunited with that same book years later?
That’s the situation Zoe Andrews experienced when she found her copy of The Secret Garden on display at the Museum of English Rural Life in England. The children’s book is about a young orphan girl named Hannah, who discovers a secret garden in her uncle’s estate and is determined to bring it back to life.
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Andrews donated her copy to a charity shop in Wallingford, which the museum picked up years later. When she discovered the book at the museum, she knew it was hers when she saw her sister’s name written in the front cover. After discovering the name, Andrews immediately bought the book back.
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The museum shared the discovery on their official Twitter:
This morning, our museum witnessed a miracle.
Put down your most urgent work, let your end-of-the-week deadlines breathe, and join us for something amazing.
? a thread ?
— The Museum of English Rural Life (@TheMERL) October 18, 2019
The director of the museum also shared her excitement:
One of the most unexpected yet fascinating aspects of libraries is discovering books that bear traces of their readers’ lives, moving us to speculate about how they were read and enjoyed. That it’s The Secret Garden – a novel that has survived generations and provided a magical escape for so many readers – makes this story all the more wonderful.
Andrews described the feeling of seeing her copy of the book as “very bizarre”:
It’s a very bizarre feeling to find something you loved as a child and to think of its journey. ‘How many other children owned and read that book? Did they ever wonder who Hannah was?’
Can you imagine reuniting with one of your favorite books?