Embrace the books. Not in a creepy way, like actually embracing them, but – you know – don’t be afraid of them. They’re just books. They won’t bite. Granted, a paper cut is a nasty little bitch of timing, but how many paper cuts have you ever gotten from a book? Be honest. You’ve gotten more paper cuts from a letter, a memo, an envelope, hell – even a newspaper or a magazine. But a book – next to never. And if it does happen, it’s usually on a really old book that uses rag paper or vellum, instead of pulp. Those kind of paper cuts leave scars. Deep ones. Takes ages for them to heal, probably because of the fibres the paper left embedded in your skin and epithelial cells. (Is that redundant? I don’t know. I’m neither a doctor nor a dermatologist. Dammit, Jim!) And don’t you dare tell me that you’ll never get a paper cut from a phone or a tablet computer. That’s akin to comparing apples to screwdrivers. Don’t be a dick about it. Just… Embrace the books.
Embrace the books is more advice to myself than to you, though it does apply. All of my friends read, and all of my friends are intelligent, well-rounded and profound individuals. Okay, they’re also a bit weird… Some of them might be considered crazy (none of them are wealthy enough to be called ‘eccentric’). But you’d have a lot going on in there too, if you had just read 459 pages of the Best. Writing. Ever. and you might not be able to keep an even keel after that kind of experience either. Making a connection that deeply with a world filled with characters – idealised and villianised – has a huge impact on readers who fling themselves into books. They embrace them.
Again, this turned into advice for you, and not advice for me. I have a Library – it’s my new job (if you follow me on Twitter [@LMABaumanMilner] or Facebook, you may have seen the occasional ‘OOK’ of happiness at being a Librarian). And it’s lovely… but it could be so much more. So many books were taken in a cull before I arrived, and so many people have commented with regret over that which was lost… Now, all I can see are the gaps, where books once were.
I’ve just realised that I can’t ignore the books I do have. And that I’ve been doing that for the last few weeks. So I say again, embrace the books. Appreciate what is there and stop idealising what has been lost. If I embrace them, and revel in them… then the books shall thrive, and the Library will grow.
All that other stuff I said earlier? That’s true too. Embrace the books.