Monday, May 14, 2012

The Book within a Book

Why do books about books create such a remarkably romantic version of whatever topic it is the book we have in our hands is trying to cover.  As readers we are on the edge of our seats when a heroine walks into an old library that nobody has visited in several if not many years.  When a book arrives unexpectedly through the mail, wondering from what far off civilization it was sent, we tear through the next pages, anticipation growing with each word.  Readers who love to read about books feel books when we pick them up.  We're insane, neurotic, because we like the 'smell' of books.  We run a hand along the spine, using a sixth sense to discern what exactly the book has to say.  The endpapers are places that whisper secrets.  The type of binding shows a book's character.  And when a book comes to life, when it is told unmistakably well, we reach nirvana.

People of the books go miles beyond nirvana!

It is the mystery of language and books that we as lovers of books seek.  The secrets of what stories are and how they began.  And what long forgotten time, place, or people we might meet if we just read a little further.  

This was delicious! 

If you listen to the five clues in the Sarajevo Haggadah you will find the story of the book: insect wing, saltwater, white hair, wine, and the feathers and the rose.  These small insignificant things don't appear to be that forthcoming in the rich history they could share, but Brooks' heroine Heath begs, prods, and tugs on the corners of each to find the remarkable history of this five century old codex.   A story book lover's will remember for a long, long time.

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