Books As Old Friends

Books are sensory – they have a pleasing look, a comforting smell, a grainy feel, a satisfying weight. You can lend a book, read it everywhere, stow it anywhere, hide treasures in it.  The best-loved books are dog-eared, coffee-stained, and inscribed: carrying memories locked into untold brain networks by all the experiences you had when reading it.

And forever after you have only to open that book to be back where you first read it. It will all come into your mind with the very first words…― Cornelia Funke (Inkheart)

A book works at my speed, comfortable and slow, faster when I want it to be, then slow again. Many of my books are old friends.– Jack Lasenby (interview here).

When you read a great book, you don’t escape from life, you plunge deeper into it….And for this serious task of imaginative discovery and self-discovery, there is and remains one perfect symbol: the printed book.– Julian Barnes

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7 Responses to “Books As Old Friends”

  1. Mike Crowl Says:

    You forgot to mention reading a book in the bath….one of life’s great joys!

  2. Raymond Says:

    Indeed, although a few of my books have not survived that particular joy.

  3. Penelope Says:

    It remains to be seen how long and in what form ebooks will survive, and how or whether memories will attach to the reading device or the digitally read story . . . (perhaps I should conduct a survey).

  4. Raymond Says:

    Good idea. For ebooks there must still be a strong element of attachment to a great story. But will it last as long and long enough for there to be ebook ‘classics’? Lasenby says he ‘lets time do the winnowing’ for him.

  5. Zireaux Says:

    A lover of books, yes, but undisputed champion when it comes to spinning them on my finger. From thick paperbacks to flimsy childrens’ books to gargantuan coffee-table tombs, they can helicopter atop my skyward-pointing digit in perpetual momentum, like the spinning plates of a circus act.

    Have yet to find the necessary bravado, however, to attempt the same stunt with an iPad.

    A review of E.B. White’s essays I think you’d enjoy:’s-meat-by-e-b-white-harper-row-c1944-republished-by-tilbury-house-1997-279-pages/


  6. Raymond Says:

    Ta Z, I found the book One Man’s Meat in the public library and I’m loving it. Will attempt to spin it after reading.

  7. Peter Millett Says:

    Books are definitely old friends. When you return to them after a few decades it’s like opening a time capsule. So many memories flood back. Also kids love to show their progress to others of how much they’ve read so far in a book. They stake the bookmark proudly into the chapter like a flag at Antarctica. It’s unlikely you’ll hear a child cry – ‘Look Gran, I’m 29 % done.’

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