Go to your bookshelf and pick a random book. No cheating now, just reach out and pick one. Now tell us about it – where did you get it? Why? Was it a gift? Does it hold any special memories? Did someone recommend it to you? etc.
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I was a little worried with the ‘random’ part that I’d pick out a book and I’d have nothing to say. Luckily for me, that didn’t happen. The book I picked was Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies, a book I only read a few years ago though I knew the story.
When my grandmother moved from her house into an over 55s village she downsized a lot of her belongings – most of which involved clearing out the boxes upon boxes she had stored away. One of these boxes held books that belonged to my father and aunt when they were young. I remember that I acquired a lot of books that day, but the only ones coming to mind is this one, naturally, and My Friend Flicker, which I also enjoyed. I love having this book on my shelves simply because it belonged to my father when he was young.
Inside it has several beautiful line-drawing illustrations. I don’t know about you, but this makes me think of books I read when I was little – Enid Blyton in particular. Reading books with these kinds of illustrations makes me want to be a kid again, curled up under the covers with my doll and a bed full of books (one in my hand, on on the bedside, and one under the pillow!).
On a purely aesthetic level, it has everything I love in a book – linen covers, heavy paper, beautifully aged and, of course, the wonderful old book smell! What’s not to love?