A Love of Books

At the end of this month, we will be in the midst of the 21st Wigtown Book Festival. Ten days when the population of our small town increases enormously as book lovers of all ages flock to indulge in this amazing feast for bibliophiles.

Books are often described as a friend that you can take in your pocket, take to a cafe, or on buses, trains and even to bed – anywhere, any time. They can certainly comfort as well as inspire, provoke thoughts and just simply inform.

I came across this quotation by Rebecca Solnit (from her book  A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.)

The books of my childhood were bricks, not for throwing but for building. I piled the books around me for protection and withdrew inside their battlements, building a tower in which I escaped my unhappy circumstances. There I lived for many years, in love with books, taking refuge in books, learning from books a strange data-rich out-of-date version of what it means to be human. Books gave me refuge. Or I built refuge out of them, out of these books that were both bricks and magical spells, protective spells I spun around myself. They can be doorways and ships and fortresses for anyone who loves them.

I can’t imagine a life without books. They have been my constant companions for as long as I can remember.


You pick me up after just

a few words of introduction.


As your hands clasp me

tightly. I come open.


I am forced backwards

so my spine cracks.


You smooth me, talk

quietly. Look at me.


Then crack!. You’re pushing,

bending me back again.


My spine suffers once more.

You lick your fingers


press them against me

bend and fold me over.


I can’t speak. I am dumb,

can only succumb

to your abuse.


Hear my plea!

Books deserve better,

much better treatment.