Things to Do With Books #444: The Joy of Books

Resting an open book on your forehead. Resting an open book on your chest. Cracking in a new spine. Finishing a book you loved and minutes later starting a new one; finishing a book you loved and not reading anything for two weeks. Keeping a candy-cane coloured string on your wrist in case of bookmark-emergencies. Wondering over each dogeared page, each splatter of coffee, each scribbled inscription, name and date. Trying to unobtrusively catch the title of what the person across from you on the subway is reading (and, each time you do so, remembering that one time you held up your own book so a curious fellow passenger could get a clearer view of the title, and they responded with a look of the deepest offense, as if by acknowledging the fact that people are interested in what other people are reading you were maliciously breaking some sacred taboo). Reading a book of poetry in one sitting. Reading a single poem over and over again in multiple sittings. Memorizing a sentence and leaving it on the voice-mail of every single member of your book club. Hearing the name of a book in a grocery store and picturing its exact spot on your bookshelf, going home, reading it for the fourth or fifth time, and then carefully placing it back where you found it, on the top shelf of the case near the window, two books in from the left.

So go ahead. Grab a book, get on a bus or the subway, sit in a cafe, a busy restaurant, a waiting room – wherever you are, chances are a person just as bookish, just as delightfully odd as you, will be curious to see what exactly it is you are reading on this fine spring day.

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