Top 10 Bookworm Delights
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature of The Broke and the Bookish
This week's theme: Top Ten Bookworm Delights
Per Jamie at B&B - "These are just some really delightful book related
experiences in life that can just make me happy on any given day."
I think any bibliophile could make a longer list, but in the interest of not
boring everyone else, we'll keep it to 10.
1. The smell of books - This is a no-brainer. Doesn't everyone love the smell of books?
Except maybe Fanny Dashwood, of course. There's something very old and homey
about the smell of a printed page. It's probably got something to do with mold and/or
getting high off of some spore growing in the spine but, you know what? don't know. don't care.
2. Hunting for used books - Sure, you could spend hours digging through the
shelves at Strand, or a place like the old Derby Square Bookstore in Salem
(now closed, I understand...) but there's something to be said for finding that
out-of-print copy of the book you had as a kid and haven't seen in years on eBay, too.
3. Seeing what others are reading on the train - I love peeping over the shoulders
of my fellow commuters to see what they're reading, even if I can't see the titles. And I
always smile to myself when I see someone reading a book that I already love.
4. Finding a favorite dog-eared passage - I am a bit of a cur in the book-lover community
in that I dog-ear like my life depends on it. Bookmarks can fall out, right? So unless I'm
using a bookmark that's got a good grip, dog-earring makes a lot more sense. I love it when
I re-shelf a book after moving things around and come across a spot I had left marked for myself.
5. Getting to the point in a book where I can bend the spine back - Yes, I am truly
a mutilator of the books I love so dearly. Not only do I fold the pages whenever
I please, but I also break the spines. I love the convenience of holding a book in
one hand when I'm commuting, and I love getting to the point in my book where it
won't destroy the integrity of its construction if I do this.
6. Reading during a storm - Truth be told, I also love sleeping
during a storm. But reading is good, too.
7. Crying during a book - Or, really, having any kind of real emotion while reading.
To me, that's the sign of a wonderful book.
8. Organizing my shelves - I have a very precise way that I like things -
I like keeping the authors I love most together; that's why McEwan, Kerouac,
Connolly, Bronte and Dumas all share a shelf. Austen would be there but she has her
own shelf plus another shelf of Austen-inspired books. But then I also have shelves
that are arranged by genre - my fantasy shelves - which include the likes of
Barrie, Pearson, Funke, Jacques, Rowling and Martin. I have a non-fiction shelf.
I have a shelf of plays combined with some of my favorite contemporary fiction.
And then I have what I call my Europa shelf. There are only nine Europa Editions there,
but combined with the colorful spines of my NYRB tomes, and sprinkled with my favorites
that don't fit in with the likes of McEwan and Austen, it makes for a very pretty picture. A book has to really win me over to fit into my limited shelf space, and to make me re-arrange my collection. Which leads me to....
9. Getting someone to take a book off my hands - Because I can't keep all the books (and, in many cases, don't wish to keep them) I want to make sure that they go to good homes. I hate having to see a book I once treasured trapped living a life in my office's lending library. Speaking of a which - I have a bunch of books ready to head to the office if anyone is interested...
10. Their unchanging nature - No matter what happens, a book will always
conclude in the same fashion. Sure, an author can add a sequel, but that won't change
your head canon. Yes, other authors can write alternate takes on the same story, but that
won't change the story itself. George Lucas can try to change the end of your favorite book
all he wants, but it will still end with "Yub Nub" and Han will always shoot first, because
you have the written, edited and published truth of the matter. That's an argument for
paper books over e-books as well, but I feel like that's a fight for another day.