n. the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured.
"A house that has a library in it has a soul."
Cover of ‘The May Queen’ by Alfred Tennyson. Illuminated by L. Summerbell. Published by F. Warne & Co (1860).
Research Library, The Getty Research Institute
homg I did a research project on this book and it ended up on my dash!
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains,
no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”
A Scene in a Library, before January 1845, William Henry Fox Talbot. The J. Paul Getty Museum
A few weeks ago when I visited Berkelouw Book Barn, I stumbled across a pair of books that once again convinced me there is something magical about book shops. Soon after we arrived, I picked up a copy of Q’s Legacy, written by my favourite author Helene Hanff. The book is what could be described as a dedication to Oxford professor Arthur Quiller-Couch and his published works on English Literature. He is the reason Helene grew to love literature, the reason she forged her connection with an unsuspecting little London bookshop in 1949 and ended up writing 84 Charing Cross Road - my favourite book ever. A few minutes after picking up Q’s Legacy, I took another book randomly off the shelves entitled Mr Pickwick: A Dickens Potrait. I opened it up and was completely awestruck when I saw that this book had been edited by…none other than Quiller-Couch himself. These books belonged together, so they both came home with me.