The Secret of Books

Alice felt depressed. After this, she thought, she would visit a bookshop. Her tastes in knowledge garnering were irredeemably old-fashioned. She loved the feel of books, their integrity as objects. The wing-plan of them, the scent and the warmth of paper. She loved the relative stiffness of the cover and the sentience of settled print. Random flicking of pages, inscription, dog-ears. She loved -- though it was a sin -- to see books left open upside down, their bird shape accentuated in the keeping of a page. She loved those images of the Annunciation in which the Virgin rests her index finger on a page of her book, retaining her place during Gabriel's visit. Or the mortuary statues in European churches, that have dukes and bishops sleeping in death on the pillow of an open book. She loved second-hand bookshops for their presumption that any tatty volume mattered, and new bookshops, for their signs and neat rows of books, waiting to be opened for the very first time. Inherited books. Books as gifts. Books as objects flung across the room in a lover's argument. Books (this most of all) taken into the warm sexual space of the bed, held upon the lap, entered like another body, companionable, close, interconnecting with innermost things. Those bed books that chart the route between waking and sleeping, that are a venture of almost hypnagogic power. Those enticements. Adventures. Corridors of words. Capsules. Secrets.

From Dreams of Speaking by Gail Jones, pp 136-137

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 12, 2007 5:28 PM.

Poem: The Lost Chord by Eddyson (Edward Dyson) was the previous entry in this blog.

Australian Bookcovers #55 - Mood Indigo by Mandy Sayers is the next entry in this blog.

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