Very few things make me terribly, terribly envious of other people, but home libraries, grand pianos and home swimming pools are on that short list.
I’ve always wanted a home library. A room with floor to ceiling shelves full of books. They don’t all have to be “worthy” books – although I have a collection of dictionaries which probably exceeds most normal people’s need for reference books.
Of course, I own a kindle, and carry around 300 books with me at all times. I can probably fit more books on the kindle than I could in shelves in my current living room.
Actual, real books are special. Of course they are. They have a user interface which kindles really can’t touch. You know by looking at a book just how far through it you are, or are not. The average pocket book is more comfortable to read in bed than a kindle is.
Books have a special smell. Eau de Parfum de Brand New Book which slowly, over a long time period, moves to Eau de Parfum de Musty Dusty Book.
I love new books. I love leafing through them. I especially love the 2017 Edition of the Illustrated Grand Larousse. Did I mention I liked dictionaries?
I love casting an eye over a bookshelf and thinking “Today I will read (or reread) this book or that book”. It’s not the same as doing it through a kindle.
I don’t really care what my house looks like out on the outside. I care that it has a library, with floor to ceiling bookshelves, slowly filling up, in a chaotic but very personal mode. Not for me this utterly ridiculous idea of sorting books by colour to make a Statement. This is not about interior decor. This is about exploring the world.
In the room a comfy armchair with a table and a lamp so that I can see the words and have somewhere to leave a cup of tea as I vanish into a world that only exists in the imagination of a random stranger somewhere.
If the room is big enough, you know, I’ll put the grand piano in there too. Maybe a beanbag too for those days when the armchair is just too formal. Days when, outside it is raining but on the pages of a book in my hand, the world is full of possibilities, and no risk of getting wet, only of travelling a world currently unseen.
I’ve always felt that lots of money was wasted on socialites. I’d spend it on books if I had it.