Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Bookcase

The books were organized in alphabetical order, lined up perfectly against the edge of each shelf. There were hundreds of them, each acquired by either content or beauty. The special ones, those bound in leather and printed well before the modern day press, were tucked away in a glass cabinet. Some dated back 10 years, some 300 years but all possessed the same magic of being able to transport the soul to another time, another place. 

These were her most prized possessions and price could never be placed on any. Each of these stories touched her in a way that could never be described through her words alone. It was the feeling they brought her, that tiny bit of excitement that begins to swell inside the pit of her stomach when she begins to be drawn in to a story that has the possibility of taking her anywhere. She was free inside the covers, reading to fly across the Atlantic to meet her lover who waited for her on foreign soil. Her love, the one who held her hand as they manoevered through dark and dirty streets, running from the evils that lurked in the shadows. A lover who made her pulse quicken as he slowly unbuttoned her blouse, revealing alabaster skin under a black lace brassiere. 

She ensured that these cases were looked after with the same care a mother uses with her child. Not a speck of dirt could be found. It was immaculate. Dust jackets were in impeccable shape, each protecting and holding it's body close. Often, she would stand in awe before them, running her finger along the spines, remembering the journey she took with it. Minutes would turn into hours as she became further entrenched in her reverie, whisked away to a distant place.

Photo by A.Bresar
The Bookcase
Photo by Audrey Bresar

These cases held the many lives she lived. It pained her when asked if one could be borrowed.  Pieces of her soul inhabited the pages and the possibility of having it lost or damaged caused her a great deal of turmoil.  Just the thought of sharing her treasures gave her palpitations, her palms became clammy and her vision blurred. She could not bear to part with any even for a brief moment. In her mind, it was absurd to share something so personal with the masses. The solace, the intrigue, the love that she found in the chapters was hers and hers alone.

The bookcases that housed these pieces of her sat in plain view for her to enjoy, flanked along side a crimson divan which acted as the vessel that would prepare her for these escapes. The velvet cushion of the sofa enveloped her like warm arms that held on tight. An oasis, her very own Shangri-La, an hegira amid the hustle and bustle of her daily life. 

Shangri-La Photo by A. Bresar
Shangri-La
Photo by Audrey Bresar

Talk to me! Do books have the same effect on you?

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Matthew! I want your books on my shelf soon! :)

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  2. That was mesmerizing,Audrey! Gorgeous writing. And yes, I have that same love affair with books. My wall of built in shelves is filled with books is, aside from the people who live in it, the best thing about my home.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sandy...it is amazing what joy books bring us, right? I can't remember a time in my life where I wasn't surrounded by them. My grandfather, an immigrant to Canada, with only an elementary education, always read and I think that seeing that and listening to him talk about the world started my love affair.

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