Books, books , books!

“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.

16 thoughts on “Books, books , books!

  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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.

        :- D

  3. Makes me feel guilty for enjoying my Kindle. And (she says sheepishly) I work in a library. Lovely pictures Rachael 🙂

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