Delta glanced at the artwork, the leather-bound books in the glass-fronted bookshelves, the fresh flowers in assorted vases. "This is stunning, " she said, moved by the beauty all around her. "Your home is beautiful." Valois squeezed her hand in acknowledgement. "Thank you. You'll fit right in then.
Oh, do you have A Tale of Two Cities?" "That silly thing? Men going around getting their heads chopped off for love? Ridiculus." Will unpeeled himself from the door and made his way toward Tessa where she stood by the bookshelves. He gestured expansively at the vast number of volumes all around him. "No, here you'll find all sorts of advice about how to chop off someone else's head if you need to; much more useful.
I hope for so much from every book I read. And time and again, I find myself disappointed. I look across my bookshelves and see hundreds of titles which in my memory seem merely mediocre or second-rate. Only occasionally does a novel appear for which I feel a lasting passion, a book that I think could in time become a classic.
In the immediate vicinity, there might well be stability and peace. In the garden, a breeze may be swaying the branches of the plum tree and dust may slowly be gathering on the bookshelves in the living room. But we are aware that such serenity does not do justice to the chaotic and violent fundamentals of existence and hence, after a time, it has a a habit of growing worrisome in its own way.
Alain de Botton
It has always been on the written page that the world has come into focus for me. If I can piece all these bits of memory together with the diaries and letters and the scribbled thoughts that clutter my mind and bookshelves, then maybe I can explain what happened. Maybe the worlds I have inhabited for the past seven years will assume order and logic and wholeness on paper. Maybe I can tell my story in a way that is useful to someone else.
Writing is not like dancing or modeling; it's not something where-if you missed it by age 19-you're finished. It's never too late. Your writing will only get better as you get older and wiser. If you write something beautiful and important, and the right person somehow discovers it, they will clear room for you on the bookshelves of the world-at any age. At least try.
In truth, my Anglophilia is fundamentally bookish: I yearn for one of those country house libraries, lined on three walls with mahogany bookshelves, their serried splendor interrupted only by enough space to display, above the fireplace, a pair of crossed swords or sculling oars and perhaps a portrait of some great English worthy.
I learned to build bookshelves and brought books to my room, gathering them around me thickly. I read by day and into the night. I thought about perfectibility, and deism, and adjectives, and clouds, and the foxes, I locked my door, from the inside, and leaped from the roof and went to the woods, by day or darkness.
We can see the film stars of yesterday in yesterday's films, hear the voices of poest and singers on a record, keep the plays of dead dramatists upon our bookshelves, but the actor who holds his audience captive for one brief moment upon a lighted stage vanishes forever when the curtain falls.
Daphne du Maurier
They will be given as gifts; books that are especially pretty or visual will be bought as hard copies; books that are collectible will continue to be collected; people with lots of bookshelves will keep stocking them; and anyone who likes to make notes in books will keep buying books with margins to fill.
She didn't see me because of the reflection on the store windows, and she wouldn't know me in this car anyway. In fact, she probably wouldn't know me with shaggy hair and the beginnings of a beard. So I sat for a minute, watching her dusting bookshelves, either talking to herself or singing. Her feather duster had become a prop in whatever scene she had going. She looked heart-stoppingly, breathtakingly beautiful, my Meg.
Laura Anderson Kurk
I'm leaning against the bookshelves when it occurs to me that one thing here is real-the books. I reach behind me and let my fingers trail over the rough leather of their antique spines, then pull one free. Nobody here reads them; the books are for decoration. Chosen for the richness of their leather bindings not for the contents of their pages. Nobody will miss one, and I need a dose of reality.
Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Thousands of volumes have been written about aviation, but we do not automatically have thousands of true and special friends in their authors. That rare writer who comes alive on a page does it by giving of himself, by writing of meanings, and not just of fact or of things that have happened to him. The writers of flight who have done this are usually found together in a special section on private bookshelves.
I've always loved books. I'm passionate about them. I think books are sexy. They are smooth and solid and contain delightful surprises. They smell good. They fit into a handbag and can be carried around and opened at will. They don't change. They are what they are and nothing else. One day I want to own a lot of books and have them nbear to me in my house, so that I can stroll to my bookshelves and choose what I fancy. I want a harem. I shall keep my favourites by my bed.
Sometimes I long for a convent cell, with the sublime wisdom of centuries set out on bookshelves all along the wall and a view across the cornfields--there must be cornfields and they must wave in the breeze--and there I would immerse myself in the wisdom of the ages and in myself. Then I might perhaps find peace and clarity. But that would be no great feat. It is right here, in this very place, in the here and the now, that I must find them.
I was assigned to the office of a recently deceased faculty member; the office hadn't been cleaned out yet, and a few days before the fall term began, I unlocked the door to find a dirty room whose bookshelves were crammed with empty bourbon bottles and crucifixes, mute testimony to the limits of literature as a sustaining comfort in life.
During the fifteen or twenty years in which I tried - it was not always easy with publishers, newspapers, etc. - to forbid photographs, it was not at all in order to mark a sort of blank, absence, or disappearance of the image; it was because the code that dominates at once the production of these images, the framing they are made to undergo, the social implications (showing the writer's head framed in front his bookshelves, the whole scenario) seemed to me to be, first of all, terribly boring, but also contrary to what I am trying to write and to work on.
My own feminist revolution evolved slowly, and traveled the world with me. To this day I have no idea what dissident professor or librarian placed feminist tests on the bookshelves at the university library in Jeddah, but I found them there. They filled me with terror. I understood they were pulling at a thread that would unravel everything. Now that I am older, I can see that feeling terrified is how you recognize what you need. Terror encourages you to jump, even when you don't know if you will ever land.
Books on the bookshelves And stacked on the floor Books kept in baskets And propped by the door Books in neat piles And in disarray Books tucked in closets And books on display Books filling crannies And books packed in nooks Books massed in windows And mounded in crooks Libraries beckon And bookstores invite But book-filled rooms welcome Us back home at night!
I found that I could not contemplate an adult life in which books were not dominant. I wanted to live and work with them... I had to be able to take books from their places, run my finger over their backs, see how they opened, flick their corners straight. I wanted a perspective of bookshelves always in my eye. And books, books, books. This was not a rational way of determining on a career and was much tainted by mushiness. But it was the way in which my decision hardened, before I was fifteen years old, to become a librarian.
Clifford Currie Librarian of the Ashmolean Library Oxford
Rich mahogany wood was used to construct the bookshelves, and the floor is also hardwood of the same deep tone. Copper trim was used to accent the wood, and the only place to sit is a custom designed green leather sofa that is curvy, and from the side resembles a frog taking a bowel movement. A knockoff Tiffany lamp with a green grass lampshade sits on an end table next to the sofa.
Harriet, to hide her excitement, had turned to the bookshelves in the corner between the windows and the fireplace. The books, untidily arranged, some standing, some piled on their sides, with newspapers and magazines wedged among them, confused her. There were no sets and a great many were paper-backed. She saw friends - Mr. Dickens was present - and nodding acquaintances - Laurence Sterne, for instance, and Theodore Dreiser - but they were among strangers: Henry Miller, Norman Douglas, Saki, Ronald Firbank, strangers all.
She was a great and insatiable reader, surprisingly well acquainted with the classics of literature, and unexpectedly lavish in the purchase of books. Her neighbours never forgot to mention, in describing her, the awe-inspiring fact that she 'took in the English Times and the Saturday Review, and read every word of them, ' but it was hinted that the bookshelves that her own capable hands had put up in her bedroom held a large proportion of works of fiction of a startlingly advanced kind, 'and, ' it was generally added in tones of mystery, 'many of them French.
As the shabby section of the audience rose to its feet, waving its hats and food-wrappers, a rich, stale smell wafted through the auditorium. It had something of the fog on the boulevard outside, where the pavements were sticky with rain, but also something more intimate : it suggested old stew and course tobacco, the coat racks and bookshelves of a pawnshop, and damp straw mattresses impregnated with urine and patchouli. It was - as though the set designer had intended some ironical epilogue - the smell of the real Latin Quarter.
When we haven't the time to listen to each other's stories we seek out experts to tell us how to live. The less time we spend together at the kitchen table, the more how-to books appear in the stores and on our bookshelves. But reading such books is a very different thing than listening to someone' s lived experience. Because we have stopped listening to each other we may even have forgotten how to listen, stopped learning how to recognize meaning and fill ourselves from the ordinary events of our lives. We have become solitary; readers and watchers rather than sharers and participants.
Rachel Naomi Remen
I love bookshelves, and stacks of books, spines, typography, and the feel of pages between my fingertips. I love bookmarks, and old bindings, and stars in margins next to beautiful passages. I love exuberant underlinings that recall to me a swoon of language-love from a long-ago reading, something I hoped to remember. I love book plates, and inscriptions in gifts from loved ones, I love author signatures, and I love books sitting around reminding me of them, being present in my life, being. I love books.
At a tender age, I commandeered half a quire of foolscap from my father's desk and sat down to write a book. ...I had observed onprinted fly leaves the words "By the author of, etc." ...So under the title of my prospective work I wrote: By the author of "Les Miserables," "The Woman in White," "Dombey and Son," "Tom Brown's Schooldays" and "Our Life in the Highlands," the last-named being an opus of good Queen Victoria. I had not read all these works but they existed on our bookshelves, and I hoped to produce something worthy of comparison.
Rheta Childe Dorr
The library turned out to be a very pleasant place, but it was not the comfortable chairs, the huge wooden bookshelves, or the hush of people reading that made the three siblings feel so good as they walked into the room. It is useless for me to tell you all about the brass lamps in the shapes of different fish, or the bright blue curtains that rippled like water as a breeze came in from the window, because although these were wonderful things they were no what made the three children smile. The Quagmire triplets were smiling, too, and although I have not researched the Quagmires nearly as much as I have the Baudelaires, I can say with reasonable accuracy that they were smiling for the same reason.
I was lost in a magical mystic world as I step into the old university library. This place I would say is the birth place of the 'writer' in me and still one of my most loved places in the world. It was always peaceful there. Each and every moment I spent their searching for books or walking on unknown paths with the un-quenching thirst for knowledge, is cherished in my mind forever. The dark dusty corners all brown and the smell of old books untouched by readers for years, the quiet long walking passages between overloaded bookshelves were places where my magical world existed.
I went to the library. I looked at the magazines, at the pictures in them. One day I went to the bookshelves, and pulled out a book. It was Winesburg, Ohio.. I sat at a long mahogany table and began to read. All at once my world turned over. The sky fell in. The book held me. The tears came. My heart beat fast. I read until my eyes burned. I took the book home. I read another Anderson. I read and I read, and I was heartsick and lonely and in love with a book, many books, until it came naturally, and I sat there with a pencil and a long tablet, and tried to write, until I felt I could not go on because the words would not come as they did in Anderson, they only came like drops of blood from my heart.
I have always lusted after a sepia-toned library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a sliding ladder. I fantasie about Tennessee Williams' types of evenings involving rum on the porch. I long for balmy slightly sleepless nights with nothing but the whoosh of a wooden ceiling fan to keep me company, and the joy of finding the cool spot on the bed. I would while away my days jotting down my thoughts in a battered leather-bound notebook, which would have been given to me by some former lover. My scribbling would form the basis of a best-selling novel, which they wold discuss in tiny independent bookshops on quaint little streets in forgotten corners of terribly romantic European cities. In other words, I fantasize about being credible, in that artistic, slightly bohemian way that only girls with very long legs can get away with.
This time Simone did not smile at all. "I cannot tell that to you, child. This is a secret I am not allowed to talk about. I only hope that you will know how to follow the true and right path. And now, farewell!" She turned around and walked away between the bookshelves, disappearing from their sight. Nirupa looked at the book she held in her hand. On its thick front cover she read: "Atlantis." Deep shudders shook her body. She turned her head and looked at Miss Bell, who also looked numb with fear. "Now that we have started the adventure, me must carry it through to the end, " Ni whispered to Miss Bell, opening the book. She did not have time to see what was written inside because, once the first page was open, a whirl of warm air sucked Ni and Miss. Bell inside, In the twinkle of an eye they found themselves standing up on the main street of a magnificent bazaar.
Leora Cika Waldman
I love bookshelves, and stacks of books, spines, typography, and the feel of pages between my fingertips. I love bookmarks, and old bindings, and stars in margins next to beautiful passages. I love exuberant underlinings that recall to me a swoon of language-love from a long-ago reading, something I hoped to remember. I love book plates, and inscriptions in gifts from loved ones, I love author signatures, and I love books sitting around reminding me of them, being present in my life, being. I love books. Not just for what they contain. I love them as objects too, as ever-present reminders of what they contain, and because they are beautiful. They are one of my favorite things in life, really at the tiptop of the list, easily my favorite inanimate things in existence, and... I am just not cottoning on to this idea of making them... not exist anymore. Making them cease to take up space in the world, in my life? No, please do not take away the physical reality of my books.