May 31, 2012 § Leave a comment
One of my biggest obsessions in life are books. Not simply what’s in them but also what they look like. They are my equivalent of comfort food or compulsive buying. I probably spend more time in bookshops than I do in clothes stores.
I like everything about them: the smell, the font, the design of the cover, the preface, the little drawings at the beginning of each chapter, or even the texture of the paper. This love affair started quite a while ago and was made official by a 3-year BA in English that I have only just completed. I think you can say I am a hardcore fan.
To celebrate their greatness, I would like to talk about and appreciate them in this small space – whether it be for their content, their design or the memories I cherish alongside them – because a book does not limit itself to its physical boundaries, and is also about all the thoughts you pour into it and that come out of it as a result.
This copy of P. G. Wodehouse’s The Inimitable Jeeves was lent to me by my boyfriend as a way to get my mind off of revision. It was his father’s when he was younger and has clearly been read a few times. It is so old and battered that the front and back covers have fallen off and the paper has turned into this orange-brown colour around the edges that testifies to the works of time. I usually like buying my books new but it is nice to know that other people before me have laughed when reading these pages and to wonder where and when they were previously read.
A friend of mine was just telling me she opened a book recently and a bit of sand from the beach she was reading it on last summer fell on her lap. I think that’s what books are to me: great discoveries, but also little pieces of our lives. A bookshelf is then like a kaleidoscopic view of someone’s adventures (this is probably why I like the ideal bookshelf project).