That (below) is a picture of a sliver of one bookshelf. I think my bookshelves both excite and frighten me in equal measure. You might care to throw some curiosity into the recipe and a dash of love.
I do love books. No doubt about it.
People take holidays, I buy books. I would much rather get lost in the pages of a book than lounge on a beach somewhere. I could probably manage to sit in some room with a view and read – but it would have to be the right spot.
Somewhere near the coast or overlooking a landscape. Preferably somewhere temperate, as I don’t do well in the heat.
My curiosity for books might offer a sniff of a suggestion about why I own so many. I have quite a few – many unread, though with good intentions. I have read – or at least partially read – most. I’m not hoarding. I have donated a few short stacks of books to charity where I’m certain I’ve read something – or never will – and feel the need to pass it on.
What frightens me is that I know I don’t have time to read everything I’d like to – and that includes many works I don’t have in my library. I could do with reading more of the classics. I could do with more plays and poetry. I do have examples scattered amongst what I have, but many I haven’t laid hands upon.
What excites me about books is their ability to transport me. I’m not just being cute with that statement. I’m not suggesting a physical or mental translocation either.
When I read a book, I sort of spirit my thoughts away in a kind of Holmesian ‘Mind Library’ with comfy high-backed leather chairs, fine tea and good lighting. I can all too easily be doing something when I glance at a book – and fifteen minutes later re-emerge to the distant sound of my name being called.
Just to be clear, I haven’t passed out during the interim.
I just get lost in the words and the pages. Sometimes I can do the same with a trawl through Wikipedia, but it isn’t quite the same. With the right book in hand, I can disengage my anchor on reality and run with the words.
I’d be overdoing it to say that I find it exhilarating, but it isn’t far off.