Monday, January 28, 2008

Carlos Ruiz Zafon's THE SHADOW OF THE WIND

I generally try to concentrate on one book at a time, but as I am reading the Katha Pollitt book I am making my way through THE SHADOW OF THE WIND, loaned to me by a co-worker.

There's a section close to the beginning of the book in which a colleague takes the protagonist, then a young boy, to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a Barcelona library. His father, a bookstore owner, tells him, "In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day they will reach a new reader's hands. In the shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner. Every book you see here have been somebody's best friend."

While I have tried to thin down my library at home to manageable levels, I keep some of them around because they feel like old friends. And I worry, perhaps irrationally, perhaps not, that some of them might be forgotten, just like the books in that mysterious library. After I read the passage in the book, I pulled down my copy of THE BOOK OF BRIAN ALDISS. It's an old 1970s paperback anthology of short stories by a science fiction writer. I read it when I was in college and I've kept the book over the years because I liked it so much. Does anyone else remember it?

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