Thursday, June 26, 2008

Worth Staying Up Late For

I love books. I love new books, I love classic books. I love bookshops, I love libraries, I love books
about bookshops and libraries. I love the look of books, the smell of them, the way the pages feel beneath my fingers as I turn them, the way the variations of colorful bindings look on my library shelves. I could not get a bigger thrill if they were pastries lined up in a baker’s window. I am the person looking over your shoulder at the airport to see what it is you are reading. I am the one who scrutinizes the latest magazines with my head tilted to one side to better read the titles displayed in the photographs of other people’s bookshelves. And not for me the new computerized little hard cold box with letters digitally reproduced inside, masquerading as written word. I will always and forever be utterly besotted with books. I ask you, is there anything better than an old bookstore on a rainy day? Maybe one with creaky wooden floors, a couple of imperious bookshop cats and a cast of like-minded characters wandering the shelves, eyeglasses perched on noses, each lost in his or her own private world of perusal. In such a place, the hours fly by totally unnoticed. If you happen to share this passion and are fortunate enough to ever be in the southwest corner of Scotland, do make every attempt to visit a village called Wigtown. It is billed as “Scotland’s National Book Town”, and justifiably so. It is a booklovers Eden. Shop after delightful shop, all bountiful with books glorious books. There’s a mystery bookshop, a cookery bookshop, a science-fiction bookshop, as well as many wonderfully eclectic bookshops stuffed to overflowing with rows and rows, and stacks and stacks, of wonderful wonderful books!
To echo the mood of the marvelous old painting by Adelaide Claxton shown above, here are just a few of the books that have been keeping me up late recently.
Do share some of yours!

The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
The House at Riverton - Kate Morton
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke
The End of the Affair - Graham Greene
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Rose’s Garden - Carrie Brown