Sunday, September 12, 2004

Losing Myself

Another Thursday Next book down and two more to go. Lost in a Good Book was great fun and caused me to laugh out loud several times or quiver in awe. The quivering in awe part happened upon Thursday's first visit to the Jurisfiction library which holds "Hundreds, thousands millions of books"

Hardbacks, paperbacks, leather bound, uncorrected proofs, handwritten manuscripts, everything. I stepped closer and rested my fingertips lightly against the pristine volumes. They felt warm to the touch, so I leaned closer and pressed my ear to the spines. I could hear a distant hum, the rumble of machinery, people talking, traffic, seagulls, laughter, waves on rocks, wind in the winter branches of trees, distant thunder, heavy rain, children playing, a blacksmith's hammer--a million sounds all happening together. And then, in a revelatory moment, the clouds slid back from my mind and a crystal-clear understanding of the very nature of books shone upon me. They weren't just collections of words arranged neatly on a page to give the impression of reality--each of these volumes was reality. The similarity of these books to the copies I had read back home was no more than the similarity a photograph has to its subject. These books were alive!
Just imagining a library like that made me wish I was Thursday Next. The thing that made me laugh out loud the most was the entire scene involving the Fiction Frenzy. A bookstore was have a big sale with huge markdowns on limited firsts and other must have items. Book people are generally thought of a low key laid back kind of folk, but not when it comes to bargains like these! There's punching and kicking and tackling and small arms fire and if you don't walk out with an injury, then you just didn't fight hard enough for that book you wanted. It's a hoot! I have The Well of Lost Plots waiting for me now and I don't want to rush to it, but I'm afraid I might not last long. In the mean time Vanity Fair languishes on my bedside pile.