Books!… I love books.
There a few things in life I love more than books. The texture of the paper as you turn the pages. The ink embossed lines of text beneath your fingertips. The musk that engulfs your senses when opening the pages of an old second-hand Hemmingway. The weight of knowledge before you when picking up an old shelf worn hardback. The beautiful calligraphic handwritten note reading; ‘Dear Dad, saw this and thought of you. Christmas 1969’. I love the multi-sensuous tactile experience of reading a book. I have an old tenth-hand, dog-eared copy of Joseph Heller’s ‘Catch 22’ from the 1970’s. On one of the front pages lies a list of names and dates of previous proud owners. The book has no front cover, the back cover is hanging on by only a few threads and the spine is rough and textured on both edges. The book epitomises all of the above descriptions, and despite its ‘seen better days’ appearance, the state of the book seems to embody the spirit of the story, all of which make it one of my most prized possessions.
Few things beat the feeling of anticipation that descends when entering a second hand book shop, taking your first tentative steps into the Aladdin’s cave before you. The anticipation and excitement that beneath a teetering pile of paperbacks, or behind an ill pointed row of hardbacks lies that illusive copy of ‘the third mind’ that has been successfully alluding you for months. The endless rows and columns defining the dimensions of the book clad walls. The repetition of the vertical and horizontal coloured axis retreating deep into the recesses of the shop, and the contrasting font printed spines announcing each book to the discerning eye. Second hand book shops really a symphony for eyes.