I like that the spirit of the book lives as much in the readers as in the writers. When I buy second-hand books, I look to see if a previous owner has written their name in the front, and if so whether there is a place, date or inscription. I wonder about these previous owners and readers (some may have owned the book without reading it, and others have read it without owning it).
And the notion of a book’s spirit growing every time it changes hands, or someone looks over its pages. There is a Gaelic proverb which says that ‘The sea wants to be visited’, perhaps the same can be said for books.
‘Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens…’
See also our celebration of this book, complete with a mosaic of illustrated quotations and metaphors.
Source: Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind, trans. Lucia Graves (London: Phoenix, 2012), p. 3-4
Photo credit: Dmitrij Paskevic at unsplash.com