Quote: The Art of Choosing

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Waiting, warming, he went to the bookshelves to choose a book.  The shelves, rough boards supported by carefully cleaned bricks, stood against the wall beyond which lay his bedroom.  They carried a strange cargo.  Some the books were old -- mouldy, foxed, tattered, their spines broken or missing -- some were bright shoddy paperbacks.  Some he had owned since childhood, some he had found on rubbish tips, in abandoned barns and houses.  Some had been given to him by the people of the valley, of Myola.  The people of the valley.  The people...it surprised him that he now thought of them so.  Once they had been neighbours.  Distanced but still neighbours.

His large blunt hands roved the staggered spines.  Passed over several old Penguins -- mystery stroies in their fading green and white covers -- hesitated on a small thick copy of Devil on Two Sticks, perhaps a hundred years old.  He pulled it out, turned the pages idly.  Le Sage, William Tegg & Co., Cheapside, flyleaf missing.  He replaced it beside the varnished volume of Swinburne.  Decided that after all he would not read tonight.

From Hook's Mountain by James McQueen, Chapter 1 (1982)

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 28, 2012 2:35 PM.

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