Wednesday, September 30, 2009
there are few intimacies in life that can be shared the way a book can be. words on paper in beautiful worn editions, smelling of damp dust and appealing to my need for a few moments of quiet and solitude. i am drawn into book stores, mostly used book stores. or any place i can find a little treasure for my shelves. paris has my favorite books. little shops that are collapsing under the piles of volumes. sellers along the seine. old paper markets that set up in the square at certain metro stops. boxes of books and paper under tables at the marche aux puces at montreuil or saint-ouen. a book that has been held by many hands, that has absorbed the energy and emotions of people from different generations, is a special gift. it's enough to hold one of my favorite books for a few minutes, opened randomly, gulping a few sentences or swallowing several pages. with my favorites, that i have read and re-read for decades, i rarely need to read the entire book. it's a visit with the characters, the language, the images, the places. when i read the entire book i inhabit it all, but a little visit is sometimes better. there is no simpler pleasure than a brilliant book plucked from my own collection.