I read a novel once, a book called “The Paper House”, about a man who was so passionate about his books that they consumed his life and filled every single available space in his apartment. Later, he built himself a house made entirely of his books by the beach-side. Over time, this man, who was once brilliant and eminent, gave in to the sorrows of life and became a hermit, withdrawing from the human world, finding solace only in his books and having them surround him. With the passage of time, so, too did these books give in to the ravages of weather: sun, sea, sand and the elements. As did he.
Last night, I stood in my little library (a fancy name for an elongated section of the house where I house 4 tall bookshelves) and contemplated my books. I don’t think I could have ever built a house out of them, not because they didn’t make the numbers, but because I harbour a different passion for them than the man in “Paper House” did. I looked at each of them, sighed as I remembered this story, and that, and that one. Each of them had captivated my heart in a different, special way. And although I don’t have enough room to give them the individual space on a bookshelf that they all deserve (some are piled on top of one another, on any available space on the shelf, obscuring the titles of the ones that were properly stowed away), I have great plans for them.
A new library. With floor-to-ceiling book shelves covering the expanse of just one room, it doesn’t even need to be a big room. I know I don’t have that space right now, but I will in future. At least I think so.