In support of Independent Booksellers Week, the British author Julian Barnes has written a lovely essay on the love of books and book-collecting, and The Guardian has published it.
Barnes begins his essay with these words:
“I have lived in books, for books, by and with books; in recent years, I have been fortunate enough to be able to live from books. And it was through books that I first realised there were other worlds beyond my own; first imagined what it might be like to be another person; first encountered that deeply intimate bond made when a writer’s voice gets inside a reader’s head.”
And he ends with:
“Reading and life are not separate but symbiotic. And for this serious task of imaginative discovery and self-discovery, there is and remains one perfect symbol: the printed book.”
Read Barnes’ entire essay, “My Life as a Bibliophile.” (And enjoy the 100+ readers’ comments, too, if you’d like. Not all of whom, by the way, agree with what they call Barnes’ “nostalgia” about the Printed Book.)
Found by librarian colleague (and habitual Guardian reader) Katharine Suttell