February 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
My maternal grandfather was an antiquarian, supposedly one of Europe’s best. By many accounts he was also a dead ringer for Roger Moore, and on business trips to England would get stopped and asked for his autograph. You know, I’ve never actually asked whether, in response, he tried to explain, or forged Mr. Moore’s signature, or just signed Asbjørn and left people to puzzle over it…Anyway, my mother grew up in a house full of gorgeously bound old and rare books. And because we inherited many of the books after my grandparents died, my brothers and I grew up surrounded by them as well.
There’s something about old books that insinuates itself into your psyche so that you become more at home and at ease when surrounded by walls of red leather bindings, gold embossing, marbled end pages, than almost anywhere else. Old books have a soul. And perhaps it’s actually genetic, but all of us in my family have a deeply rooted love of them. Their looks, feel, contents.