From the Ho Chi Minh French library, I borrowed “L’île des gauchers” – which in English would make “The island if the left-handed” – by French writer Alexandre Jardin. I do not know if this novel is goor or not ; I haven’t read it yet.

L'ile aux gauchers

L'île des gauchers

Whenever I pick-up  a book at the library,  one of the first page I read is the handwritten list of subscribers who read it already. The computerization of libraries force the lists to end around 2004, but still, it is nice to see how many times the book was picked up.

In this particular book, the second page caught my intention because it contains a personal note.

Ha quel chemin difficile mais la finalité est belle.
A mon p’tit Didou,

From these words, multiple stories may be invented.

...mais la finalité est belle

...mais la finalité est belle

The dedication may be roughly translated by “Ha! Such a difficult journey but the destination is beautiful. To my lil’ Didou, Tenderly, Valé.” At the moment I have no idea if this sentence is related to the story narrated in the novel. But O wonder how a dedication ends up in a public library?

Did Didier (Didou) broke up with Valérie (Valé) and offered the book? Not very plausible… Lovers would not use these words. Perhaps they were friends and Didier moved abroad, his luggage loaded with more important souvenirs and thus gave the book to the library?

Pause à la page 25

Pause à la page 25

The novel starts with a love story. At least for the 25 first pages, the narrative tone is of romantism.

Valérie perhaps could not express directly her feelings to Didier, and used a gift to voice them? Would Didier have understood? Perhaps no, perhaps yes and rejected the offer: and the book ended in the library?! Or again a jealous wife did not want this book on her shelves and dumped it?



One thing is sure though: the book was printed in November 1996 and by July 1998, someone picked it up from the library’s shelves.

Books have stories printed in them. They make the imaginative reader dreaming of lives he could not have imagined, share passion(s) with characters he would never meet, or even adventure himself in whatever future centuries and alternate realities ; but yet, each books has it own, personal story, which is often not expectable and not ended.

We will never what is the story behind this book. Why was it bought and how it ended up so quickly in a library, 10’000 kilometers from where it was printed.

But I still wonder.