The Book on the Bookshelf

There's something to be said for the power of books, for the vividness of words on a clean, unmarked page. Books have the ability to comfort us on cold wintry nights, to carry us through our heartbreaks and growth spurts, to heal us when we feel beyond healing, to love us when nobody else will. Perhaps this is why I always feel myself drawn to them, why when I visit a friend or family, I always feel obliged to visit their books, as well as themselves. Even if it's only the soft lingering touch of a finger on the spine, I feel the need to hail them, as if doing so will somehow verify to me that the person I love is still the same or, as sometimes happens, direct me towards changes wrought since last we met. For much can be told about a person by the titles which line their bookshelves: a secret love of classics, a search for spiritual truth, a detachment from the everyday life one lives, a yearning for romance, or a search for the magic of days gone by... So, if introductions are to be made between author and reader, it seems appropriate that books must be involved, shelves must be seen, and spines must be examined. However, as with anything that is worth knowing, one must look quite closely and be intuitive.

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