I’m sat on my bed as I like to do when getting read to lie down in it and I feel inclined to reach for my laptop. Well I say reach, it’s more of that keep-your-legs-on-the-bed-whilst-dragging-the-rest-of-your-body-across-the-room effort, in an overly strenuous and needless attempt stay on bed, admit it we all do it! The reason I’ve picked up the laptop instead of winding down is because I just realised how incredibly lucky I am.
There are many reasons for this, family, friends and all the rest of it but the thing that did it for me today was actually seeing my bookcases. They aren’t subtle or anything, I look at them all the time but today I have actually seen them. Like most people I’ve spent years accumulating books but I’ve been taking them for granted of late because I have them near me, they seem to almost become almost less special for a time..
That is until they come back into my sphere of attention and now they have and I see the absolute awesomeness of having my own personal library. That hoarded collection is not only words – words of wonder and magic – timeless words but also memories or the promise of memories for those books not yet gotten around to yet. What I love most about having an accumulated amount of paper is the accidental placement and combinations of books. Having memoirs of life next to sci-fi flights of fancy or staunch atheistic existentialists next to a history of the church is such a whimsical by-product of stacking.
It was the Manic Street Preachers who sang (back when they were good) ‘Libraries gave us power, then work can made us free, what promise now, for a shadow piece of dignity’ and that is perhaps the greatest gift of a collection of books, to teach us. Whether it be new perspective or new styles of writing, history, philosophy, or just allowing us to focus on one thing at a time as opposed to the avalanche of things we usually deal with. Nobody else will educate you half as well as you can educate yourself and your books give you that power…you are lucky.
When was the last time, you truly spent time just looking (and perhaps running a finger along the spines) and just taking in the patchwork of magic you’ve compiled. How often do you pat yourself on the back and look smug at what you have amassed? Perhaps today you should take the time to do this and send me a photo of your wonderful self-satisfied faces with your books.