Sunday, 11 October 2009

What would happen if...

books had a life of their own?
I have been puzzling over this. I feel guilty when I give away a book. I rarely give away books unless I have specifically bought them as presents for other people. At that point I find myself, almost, explaining to the book that it cannot live with me.
They go off quite happily but I always find myself hoping they will be well looked after.
There are other books which seem to look at me like an abandoned cat. I pick them up to give them a comforting pat and end up bringing them home. The house is full of stray books. They have learned to cuddle into the most surprising places. They sit tightly together on the bookshelves. They perch above one another on the floor. They push their way out of cupboards and climb on the bed. I have to put them firmly off before I can sleep at night.
I wonder whether they sleep at night. Do they hold discussion groups instead? Do they open up? I feel certain they go visiting each other. They appear in places I know I did not leave them. They will sometimes go exploring for extended periods or get captured by humans and, eventually, find their way home looking tired and in need of a loving pat and a snooze on the shelf comforted by their friends. Yes, books need each other. They are not happy in isolation.
I am certain they have a life of their own.

6 comments:

Tony said...

Hmm, but do they all get on? I think my Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy novels would be horrified to be placed on the same shelf as some of my wife's chick-lit (and Harry Potter and Henry James should probably be kept apart).

Or is that literary Apartheid? My head hurts...

catdownunder said...

I was also wondering how Rebus would get along with Dalgleish and how they would discipline the students at Hogwarts!

Redleg said...

Tony, I think your Dostoevsky novels would probably fight your Tolstoy novels. Russian lit is well-known for its snobbery.

Tony said...

Poor Turgenev... I have a tiny, old copy of 'Fathers and Sons' sandwiched between a few thousand pages of Dostoyevsky on one side and Tolstoy on the other!

On another point, what settings do I need to set on my blogspot blog to allow people to get notification of any comment on a post they've already commented on (the little tick box)? I can't seem to find it...

catdownunder said...

Poor Turgenev indeed! I hope you pulled him out and spoke nicely to him? :-)
I am not sure how you go about ticking the box. I am not technically minded - although I have been known to note that something is upside down or back to front!

Rachel Fenton said...

Clearly, Dostoyevsky has to be exiled to another area altogether! For peace's sake.

I used to organise my books meticulously - and I had to think up some strange excuses why I could not loan out my books - especially at university, where it was expected. I gave in and loaned out a copy and, lo and behold, never saw it again. Oh, how I grieve my lost books!

Mellodrama aside, I do think books are such lovely lovely things...and if you do not think they have a life of their own, then at least invest them with a little of yours.