Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Confessions of a Bibliophile

Hello, my name is Murph, and I am a bibliophile.
I haven’t touched a book for 11 hours, I’m a serial reader, I can’t help myself… I love books… carnally.
That sounds gross, but let me explain.
I LOVE books… yes, for the stories they tell or the information they contain… but I love the book itself, its beauty, and the heft of it in my hands or in my book bag. I love the smell of the pages and the crispness of the binding as I gently open it for the first time if it’s new… or the easy “flop” of a book that has known more than a few readers. I worship the pages as they turn before me revealing their secrets.
But with that being said… I defile books. Yes it’s true, for as it is with almost all English majors, I read with a pen. In the pristine margins, I have the audacity to comment, to codify, to annotate, and horror of horrors… I UNDERLINE!
Oh… the ecstasy!
But I am a true lover, for I will never defile the book of another, and no… I… almost never… borrow from the brothel that is the public library. Oh, to read but not comment in the margins, that, my friends, is Hell.
I am a painfully slow reader. My Wife and Daughter can read 4 books to my one. But I savor the experience and enjoy every page the book has to offer. And I almost never revisit a book. No my friends, once I’ve had my way with a book, it is shelved, only to be looked at and possessed from that day on. I guess you could say that I’m the Humbert Humbert of books, for my desire is to possess utterly and forever. And so I have learned, through painful experience, and the loss of an annotated Zamyatin, (sob) to never loan out one of my precious books… oh, the pain and the loss!
I will never understand those who will read without touching, the users of “Kindle” and other ebook readers, those literary voyeurs. You call me demented, then what are they? They are truly the literary perverts.
I have a library, it is small, but it is mine… all mine… It is my favorite pastime to just sit, among my pretties, and just look… to pull a favorite volume and revisit, a passing gesture to be sure, but to briefly revisit a favorite passage, or bit of prose. To let their smell and music and words wash over me in a flood of memory.And yet I am mad?

2 comments:

Angela said...

Mike,

Is the correct term bibliophile or would it be bookslut...given your sorted relationships with multiple books. Since book relationships are not required to be monogamous, maybe you are simply polybiblious...since i am really hoping that you only love your books...you don't LOVE your books.

This is all to say that I understand completely and whole heartedly embrace the bookslut that I most certainly am.

Murph said...

I like the term Bibliophile… it just sounds nicer than the alternative. I love my books, but purely in a plutonic way. And while I have slept with several my books, I haven’t “Slept” with any of my books. I know no book… Biblically.
;)

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