BOOKSHELVES by MEGAN KERR, UK, WALES
“Books play a far more intimate role in life than mere utilitarian objects. Their mere presence gives much to a home or a room, and they are capable of a very long-term relationship. I still wince when I think of a particular book lost or lent away years ago, and I feel fully moved into a new home only when the books are secure on their shelves, providing their necessary warmth and companionship.” –Thomas Moore, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life (1996)
Someone told me to always buy two copies of a book: one to keep, one to lend….
I only gave one book away that I regret — and even then the regret is mixed. A Chinese teacher — long ago — was compiling a dictionary of poetry in English. I had such a thing from the 1850s that my dad gave me when I was a little girl. It was edited by the woman about whom I I ended up writing my masters thesis. The teacher was born in the 30s so he’d lived through a lot of horrific changes in China; he was from Chongking in Szechuan. As an English teacher, he’d been incarcerated during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. His life’s dream was to come to America and, in the 80s, he did. The book was, I’m sure, as great a treasure for him as it was for me. I only wish there were two copies of that book.