“Medicine for the soul”
Inscription over library door in Alexandria (Diodorus Siculus, History, I)
Aren’t books glorious? Quite apart from their contents, they are so wonderfully tactile! Flaubert understood the sensuality of books when he described Emma Bovary’s delight in opening a book: “She shivered as her breath lifted the tissue paper over the engravings, and it curved and half folded and then fell back, softly unfurling” (Madame Bovary, trans.Geoffrey Wall, Penguin Classics, p.35).
Books are also very photogenic. On their own, in rows or in the wonderful multiplicity of a bookshop or library.
This shot is of a particularly enticing bookshop on Marylebone High Street in London. “The heart of Daunt Books is an original Edwardian bookshop with long oak galleries and graceful skylights. Its soul is the unique arrangement of books by country – where guides, novels and non-fiction of all kinds will interest traveller and browser alike”. (The Daunt Books bookmark.)
You never know what interesting characters you might meet in a second-hand bookshop:
Today’s final shot was taken as I worked on an essay at college. It’s just an iPhone snap but it captures some of the atmosphere of Founders Library, Royal Holloway College, University of London, an eminently suitable place to be studying English literature!
If you can’t get enough of book pictures, try this.
Great post Rachael, curling up with a good book and getting lost in it’s contents is one of my favourite pastimes. I could spend hours in bookshops and libraries given half the chance! I like your new watermark too 🙂
Thanks, Karen. I am going to do a post about the watermarks soon. I had a lot of fun drawing them but I can’t seem to get used to seeing them on my images.
Oh look forward to it 🙂
As a long-time teacher of English language arts and a librarian, how could I *not* love this post and the link to all the book pics? I think libraires and bookstores are better than churches and, even though I read on a Kindle occasionally (I’ll be reading Bring up the Bodies on mine as soon as I finish A.A. Gill’s ‘Angry Island’ about what cranky folks you Brits are) there is nothing like the feel of a real book in my hands.
(Still, the librarian in me MUST chide you NEVER to leave a book open on its spine.) 😛
Thanks, Debbie. I wondered if anyone would spot that heinous act of dereliction. I actually thought I never did that and even said so in a survey abut book worms recently. Then I saw that shot again and was quite horrified with myself! 😉
It’s OK. I’m sure you only did it to add some angularity and interest to the composition of your shot and closed it properly immediately afterwards.
Books are without a doubt my most favourite things!
Glad to hear it. 🙂
Makes me feel guilty for enjoying my Kindle. And (she says sheepishly) I work in a library. Lovely pictures Rachael 🙂
Thanks! How lovely of you to visit and comment. 🙂
That top image of books is beautiful, I love all the old covers 🙂
Thanks. They are rather lovely, aren’t they. 🙂
pretty sure we sat in that exact seat 21 years ago…..
we used your picture – and linked to it (and said how much we liked it) – was that ok? do we have your permission? like to be on-the-right-side of interweb etiquette…..
waving from manhattan.
Hi. That’s fine. Glad to share with a fellow RHUL student.
you’re still there!
sending good thoughts for studying, nights at the Happy Man, dodgy bands down the student union, a glass of milk and an apple at Boog!
waving from manhattan.
RHC drama and theatre studies 1991.
He he – I don’t really do those things as I am a very mature postgrad 😉