The imperfection of books

An old book is lying next to me, and it calls me to pick it up and read it. The imperfections of it make me feel as if this book has lived, and that it wants to be cherished for a long time to come. The cover is wrinkled, the pages discoloured and I sense that a lot of time was spent thinking about the content. It is beginning to have that old book scent, the scent only loved by bibliophiles.

It makes me want to visit my old library again, imperfect because all available space has been filled by other books, yet cherished because I know every corner of the library and what hides in them. The old, creaking seats I used to sit in to fall under another book’s spell.

Imperfect, yet loved because the books are not completely sorted by the usual Dewey library classification system and I want to start putting them the right way… happy memories of shelving hundreds and hundreds of books, cherishing the fact that each one had a story behind the story.

Imperfect, yet liked because it was often a lonely place, leaving me time and space to drift away between rows and rows of knowledge. People stay away from libraries these days and choose digital formats instead of the books of old. Forgetting the comfort books give.

Imperfection to me will always be the introduction of digital readers because books still deserve to be cherished, softly handled and looked at with surprise and admiration. Each one of them has been a work of art, hard labour and soft musings of hopes and dreams.

Imperfection is I, not being able to work in a library anymore. A library is a quiet yet very revealing imperfection, because it will never be able to hold all the books in the world, and it will only show its contents to those who really look for it. Yet I cherish it because it makes me yearn even more for unpublished and unread books.

I hope that the fact that my own imperfections will maybe lead me to the day when I can write a book as good as those I loved for years: James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare, the old teenage books I so loved growing up and many more.

My cherished imperfections will always be books, old and new, badly written or not, mishandled and forgotten.

For more on books, please follow these links

Welcome to the Book Fetish Club!

The Virtue of Books

Book Lovers, Unite!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  44. imperfection | think | architect

© WVE and Ireland, MS and Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, MS and Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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  4. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    there is no feeling in the world as sitting in an olde library with ancient voices
    blending with olde to new writers of words between the pages…as we turn each page
    thoughts spun into words flow out surrounding us with a special kind of bliss…
    I worked in a library in high school…to me the perfect job…
    wonderful post….
    take Care….You Matter…..


    • Billie says:

      I so hear you, Mary Rose! I worked in a public library for about 7 years, before moving to Ireland. I miss being in one all day long. It’s such a fantastic environment if you’re open to learning and new things in life. Lots of hugs x


  5. Pingback: Book lovers unite! | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me

  6. Pingback: Welcome to the book fetish club! | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me

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