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eek!

I still read real books. Not the Kobo/Kindle kind. The real 3-D paper and ink kind; the inspiration for the term “it’s a real page turner!” Indeed, I love the feel of a real book in my hands: turning the pages; the smell of a new book and its unbent spine; the knowledgeable smell of an old book and its foxy, tea-coloured pages.

I love the surprises you sometimes find in the pages: bits of ripped paper with an old phone number (‘Martha 247’), a newspaper article, a band off an old chocolate box. I love the notes written in the margin: compulsory school notes or an eager, squiggly line under a string of words so touching or profound one can’t help but wonder how no one else in the entire history of the written word has never thought to put that specific combination together.

I’m a bibliophile. I need to have books around me to feel at home. Some because I will read them again and again (my L.M. Montgomery collection; ‘Sesame & Lilies’ by John Ruskin), some because their covers are works of art, and some because they belonged to family. I regularly mourn the hundreds of little deaths of the book collection I started as a child and which was lost in my house fire four years ago.  I am particularly fond of ‘antique’ books (1850’s to 1930’s). My oldest book – which managed to survive the fire only because of where it was positioned – is a Bible from1813. My boyfriend can’t imagine how I’ll possibly ever find the time to read the ones I have – and I keep adding to the shelves monthly.

I collect old dictionaries because I’m intrigued by words that used to exist and have fallen out of fashion over the years replaced by words like ‘Google’ that do double-duty as a noun and a verb. And I definitely love studying etymology (the history and origin of words).

I love onomatopoeic words that make sounds like ‘eek!’ and ‘phew’ and ‘crunch’.

And I love that some of the younger generation say ‘eek!’ when I gently suggest they should pick up a real book and read it for fun. Imagine!

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