“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.