What is more dizzyingly intoxicating than the weight, scent, and spine of a book? 

This, I'm afraid, is the book above all books. There is nary a day that I do not wish to reacquaint myself with dearest R.W. I do not know how many copies one can own of the same book, but so far I think I must be winning (or at least that's what my creaking bookshelves seem to say under the strain of so many editions). 

I found this copy of Emerson's essays on the rare books floor at the Strand one fateful morning; dilapidated, pocket sized, weathered from its long journey of a century (plus some). A newspaper clipping from 1905 concerning one Leon Trotsky was stuffed inside to my delight. There are many books that transcend their disappointing exteriors, however, spines and dust jackets and carefully stitched bindings should operate to cohesively convey the sensibility expressed by the author. This copy is so truly dear to me because Emerson's words- which are of the most important I have ever read- are communicated through the almost black, almost blue worn leather with stitched gold leaf. If a book can be both noble and humble at once, this is it.

I wish badly to find simple, sensible antique bookplates to paste into all of my books!

A sloppy assortment of books I didn't know where to stack. Since remedied.

And to think I practically sailed through this without mentioning Emily Dickinson's opening line of XCIX, "there is not frigate like a book." Well, practically! There are only so many things a girl of my humour can resist (considering I was cast as sweet Emily in a play long ago)!


  1. Such a wonderful post!! I love everything about it--finding old books like that really is a treasure in itself. Oh dear...and I love the smell of old books so much! My friends always make fun of me! haha


  2. Old books do indeed have a beauty all their own don't they? As do you Marcine! Love that photo of you, you look so mysterious :)

    p.s. must add the book above all books to my reading list!

  3. reading this entry, i can feel as though i can almost smell those books!


  4. me oh my i love this post. and i love your blog!!!

  5. I love old books! I know I can't enter a used bookstore when I am broke because I will have to buy something.

  6. There's something really great about old books isn't there? Even if they are almost falling apart, they are still special. My favourite old book I have is a first edition of Virginia Woolf's The Years. It has a page missing so it's not valuable, but still great. The ones you have photographed here look really interesting.

  7. Amazing post...
    pics are great....
    thanks for sharing....

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  8. thank you, and the same! you got a beautiful blog, it's on my rss-subscription from now:)