Bind Together

Books are very like us.

Their anatomy is similar to ours and their physical appearance, whether or not you read, is familiar. Books have a head, foot or tail, spine, shoulders. Those structural parts, like our own skeletons, protect the delicate materials and ideas within. The endpapers, decorative or plain, are like enticing underclothes, the covers like protective coats. Books, like us, are containers of facts, fictions, ideas and possibility. They don’t like being too hot or too cold. They burn in the sun. Agents of change, book forms and the ideas they contain, can be revolutionary and change the way we see the world. They are transformative. Eventually, their physical forms rot away to nothing. They can be good company or prosaic. Not uncommonly, books can be used for both emotional and physical support. I consult books for research, pleasure and solace, and like to read whilst lying on my sofa. Can books make you taller? Yes, if you stand on one - they’re physical, tangible objects. My sofa’s stability is achieved by 2 sturdy tomes and a paperback that form its prosthetic leg.

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 2016 Shelagh McCarthy

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