Paper Sanctuary

I’m going to tell you something incredibly selfish about myself.

I sometimes want to hoard books. 

(As in, I just want to hide books away so they can be only mine. Not, like, “I want to live in a house where I can’t walk for all the piles of books everywhere” . . . . wait, this was supposed to be a bad thing. Hang on . . . . )

Here are some reasons.

1.) I don’t like to lend out books, because they usually come back tattered with stains on them, if they come back at all. I love my books, so this upsets me. I’d rather everyone went and got their own copy. There might not be a large book store in town, but we do have a library! And is only a browser page away.

2.) I sometimes don’t like talking about books. I mean, I could talk at length about the books that I love the most. And often do. The worlds in which they take place sometimes become my very own personal world. And sometimes I find a kindred spirit with whom I can share the deepest secrets of that world. At others, I find someone who steals it from me. The trouble is that when I share a book I love, I share a piece of my heart and soul, whether the other person knows it or not. Sometimes sharing that book leaves me feeling a bit used. Because perhaps the other person does not understand the book. Because perhaps that other person loves the book so much that they usurp the position of Greatest Lover of [Enter Beloved Title Here] Ever leaving my adoration for it inadequate. And I feel like that secret world – my refuge – has been stolen from me. When they invade, that book world can no longer be a sanctuary.

3.) I’ve heard people to whom I’ve recommended favourite books refer to them by The Wrong Title, repeatedly, – consistently, even -, even when they’ve read and raved about them. And I feel I ought to be amused, but it really bothers me. I can only assume they did not understand a word of the book. And then I worry that perhaps I missed something, and I am the one who does not understand it. 

4.) It is difficult when a sequel comes out. Because I am a slow reader. And sometimes I am in the middle of a different book or am simply not in the right mindset to read the sequel. And sometimes it is very hard to not hear about the new book. And sometimes well meaning people tell me they won’t say a word about it, EXCEPT > > > > > > [Enter Disappointing Section Here]. Even if all they say is that the flow was off, or the end was unfinished, I am crushed and feel like the book has been stolen from me before I’ve even gotten my hands on it. Because those little tidbits tell me more than I wanted to know. Because I wanted to come to that book fresh. And I’m no longer allowed to do that. 


So, sometimes I will speak very very freely about a book I love. And sometimes, I might not say a word about it. Which makes me sad. Because I simultaneously want to proclaim my adoration from the treetops. 

Also, I’d be over the moon with joy if Barnes & Noble opened a store in Jamestown, NY. OVER THE FREAKING MOON. Also, also, you’d only see me ever again if you came to the bookstore to find me: hiding in the shelves or eating scones and drinking tea in the cafe with my nose stuffed into the latest Mieville, Riggs, or Nix.

And this is my kind of lame ending to the story. I love books. And am bad at sharing.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Book List | In the Mouth of the Lion

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