Taking Things Seriously: 78 Objects with Unexpected Significance

Sometimes a book just speaks to you. Sometimes it's unexpected. Sometimes it knocks you to your knees.

As a book reviewer for over the last decade, I realize that often the most precious books that stay with you are the ones you'd never expect.

Taking Things Seriously: 78 Objects with Unexpected Significance is such a book. It's small and square and looks rather gifty at first glance. But in between the covers are the most interesting, intriguing stories about people and their possessions.

Well, one possession actually.

People were invited to send in a photo of an item that they had and write about its importance or the story behind it.

I didn’t think much of it at first. Oh, what a weird little story about a hair dryer or old pop bottle. But as I started reading it, I got caught up.

Because we’re not talking about people’s teddy bears or toys of their youth. These are wonky, crazy, and often ugly items that came to this individual through family, friends, boyfriends or the eccentric neighbour downstairs. But the one or two paragraphs that accompany the picture takes you and envelopes you in its significance.

I loved reading all the illogical, but ultimately sentimental reasons people hang on to an item.

I love the story of the ceramic frog in the soapdish, the carousel horse and the Grammy packaging. I think it’s remarkable all of the stories our possessions have. Some of these stories of stranger’s most prized possessions will never leave my mind.

After reading this book, I looked around the house and tried to remember where I got things, the stories that came along with them.

I am reminded that certain things speak to us – like music, books and colours – but sometimes we cannot explain why except that we simply must have it. It is so “us,” or just brings about something in us that nothing else can.

Kind of like this book.

Stephanie Dickison

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