For the Love of an Old Book

Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness. – Helen Keller

There’s nothing like standing in a used bookstore, perusing the titles of old books. Trying to find the perfect novel to read. I love books. The smell. The yellowing pages. The creases in those pages. The broken spines. The history of who read them before me. What they imagined as they took the story in. I visualize them leaving fingerprints on the front and back cover of the book. Did they read the last chapter as I often do? Read it quickly or savor every word? Where did they read it? On the beach? In bed beside a lover? In the car? Where?

I try to read slowly, but I always end up devouring every word. Roger Darling finds it funny that I can have four books going at the same time. I can’t help it. I must read. Everything. I have a Kindle. I don’t like it much. It’s not a book.

I have an unabridged copy of The Stand by Stephen King. He was my favorite author when I was growing up. The book is 25 years old. It’s HUGE! I don’t even have the dust jacket anymore. That’s okay, the spine isn’t broken yet. And I’m the only one that’s read it for the last 25 summers. I read it on the beach every damn summer. Every damn summer. Stu is my hero. But Larry, he is my favorite character. He is so tortured by his past. By his future. By the stand that he will be a part of.

I use my Kindle but it’s not my favorite. It’s not a book that I can hold onto. Feel the pages of. Feel the history of. I’d rather shelves full of old, musty books. Let my Kindle gather dust. Let my bookshelves gather dust. I’ll be sure to displace some of that dust, when I grab my copy of The Stand to read this summer.