I don’t have a Friday Forgotten Book today, I’ve been too busy to either read or write any reviews, but I do have these thoughts. I related this in an email to a good friend earlier today, and upon glancing over it again I thought it might, slightly edited, make a post here.
Upon Observing Books
I was sitting in a chair in my Study late yesterday afternoon. Because my eyes were tired, I’d taken off my glasses, and I wasn’t engaged in any task, just resting for a few moments. I looked at the wall across from me, the main wall of books in the room, and without the ability to read titles the whole thing was suddenly a large pattern, colors, shapes, most books upright, some stacked, even a few leaning to one side where a gap waited to be filled. The light had a golden cast to it and that wall of books was quite beautiful. I looked at it for a long time.
A feeling of rightness came over me while I looked at those books, living on my shelves.
Books have a kind of life, I have no doubt of it – I felt like a caretaker, a little bit of a worshiper, a believer in those books, and what they represented: the tremendous work of the author in writing them, the confidence of the publisher who bought them, the effort of the editors and proofreaders in honing them, the skill of those who combine paper, glue and ink to give them form, the inspiration of the artist who created the covers. So much time and effort for even the most insignificant of them, if such can be said of any book.
Each of them, those specific volumes, had found their way to me and rested there on those shelves. Strange thoughts came to me then: I wonder if they are glad to have me as their owner? I wonder if they are satisfied with their companions on the shelves? Somehow I think the answer is “yes”.
Anyone who says there’s no magic in the world hasn’t seen and felt what I did then.