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15 November 2010

The smell of books

We did another quick trip to Ikea this weekend. Alice's room was in desperate need of a renovation, to contain all her things and toys that evolve with her through the months. The books part had to be revised in a special way, as she has a discrete collection of her own. I never say no to books and that's what she prefers being bought when we go out.

So this is how her room looked like before.
And this is how it looks now.

I think it's much neater, isn't it? It's not finished yet but this is the result more or less. Since books are an essential presence in our lives, we opted for a bookcase style. Too bad our local Ikea ran out of the Shakespeare model. They sold out that limited edition in a very short time.

With all the relocations we go through keeping everything is nearly impossible, our home interior keeps changing and adapt to our new houses. We adopted a minimalist approach to storage and try not to be that attached to possessions on the way, but we couldn't separate from our books.  So they are the first thing we stock when leaving.

I grew up with books. They were my best friends for a long time. As soon as I learned to read I became a compulsive reader and I had a secret plan to read all books from A to Z in my parents library. It was one of those ornamental collections so popular in the 70's, something that ended up being a  souvenir rather than being read. It contained all international most famous classics, and something more modern too. I fell in love with Faulkner thanks to that, and went far to letter M if my memory serves me right.

Then my uncle opened a books store/ stationery shop and I got lost in there. I used to spend long afternoons rounded by such wisdom, reading as many pages as I could paying attention not to open the books fully, so that the client wouldn't notice the difference. I still remember the smell of books and my dirty fingers. What a golden age!

A few weeks ago I gave Alice the first book I read, Little Women. Joe March was my inspiration and my favorite female book character for a long time, I so wanted to be and felt like her. That book is the treasure of my collection and now it's in Alice's room. It'll be the first book she'll ever read too and she's looking forward to that. No jewels passed on in my family, just books. They're much better pearls of wisdom!
I am like a book, with pages that have stuck together for want of use; my mind needs unpacking and the truths stored within must be turned over from time to time, to be ready when occasion demands. Seneca

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