Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Amore del libro…
I have a raging love affair with books. It’s the only long-term romance I’ve had in my life – sad, I know, but true. I love my books.
When I told my sister that the other day she shook her head dismally and said “That’s really sad, April.” I guess it is. I mean she loves to read as much as I do, but she’s never formed a bond with her books like I have.
I have a rather large library, because I can’t bear to part with any of my old friends. Once, in a burst of spring cleaning and organizing, I forced myself to pare down my bookshelves. After I donated them to the used bookstore, I felt like a traitor. My roomier shelves seemed to look at me with distrust, as if I had turned traitor. Since then, I find room where I can. In fact, I’ve spent the last few years tracking down the titles I loved the most just to restock my collection. So now, they’re categorized by genre and author and the shelves bow with their weight.
My books talk to me. I love to sit in my library and just look at the spines lined up across the shelves. I look at my favorite titles and instantly I’m lost within that world. I relive the romance, the terror, the suspense, the drama and surprise. Each one makes me feel like I have lived a different life.
Beside the old titles are new ones I’ve yet to read (because I can’t walk into a bookstore and not walk out with at least 5 new books). When I see them, I get an adrenaline rush, a jolt of anticipation at the world yet to be entered.
I love the way they smell. New books are crisp and fragrant. Old books are slightly musty and evoke a sense of timelessness. Their weight is reassuring in my hand, a heavy promise of fun and new adventure. (My nephew doesn’t share this love. He helped me move my library into my new house. I think he actually considered my death or dismemberment after the 20th case.) I however, love the way they feel.
My books make me feel secure and safe. They fulfill me in ways few would understand. They’ll never abandon, reject or hurt me (short of them falling off of the overloaded shelves and landing on my foot, anyway). How many relationships can be described that way? They are consistent and faithful and I happily pursue the only Earthly romance that will never fade.