As conveyors of ideas and knowledge, books have a wondrous physicality to them, more individual the longer they are in circulation. I love the accretions of ownership in secondhand books – the name in the flyleaf, some odd scribbles inside the back cover, a bus ticket as a bookmark, and so on.

Source: Osip Mandelstam, Journey to Armenia (London: Notting Hill Editions, 2011), p. 81-82

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Let us speak of the physiology of reading. It is a rich, inexhaustible, and, it would seem, forbidden theme.  Out of everything material, of all physical bodies, a book is the object that inspires man with the greatest confidence.  A book established on a reading stand is like a canvas stretched on a frame.

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