The Business of LovingFriday, November 23, 2012
Fin's a new book person. He loves the smell of them, the shiny spines in well-ordered rows. He could spend several happy hours browsing the shelves of a good bookshop and never get bored. Second-hand things - books, clothes, anything textile - give him the willies.
I, on the other hand, am more of an old book person. I find new books sterile, their scent vaguely chemical. I'll take a library over a bookshop any day of the week. For me, nothing beats the weight of an old book in my hands, heavy with dust and nostalgia. Whose hands have turned these pages? Where were they sitting, what were they wearing? What did they think?
I have a particular soft spot for etiquette and self-help books of the past; I just find them incredibly charming, with their crazy titles and ridiculous advice and rampant sexism. It's so easy to laugh, now.
For some reason, my Nana's worn and beloved copy of The Bride's Book caught my eye this week. One meandering, time-killing internet search led to another, when suddenly I hit vintage marriage etiquette book jackpot on etsy. What, like you've never hit vintage marriage etiquette book jackpot? Weirdo.
(Can we just take a moment to appreciate the amazing nom de plume on the bottom right?
I find the quotation marks deeply fascinating. My theory is it's really a man.)
So now I'm wondering how many vintage marriage etiquette books a girl can justify purchasing. And whether that number is more or less than the number of books on increasingly obscure aspects of World War I currently sitting, unread, at Fin's end of the bookshelf. I think I've got some catching up to do.
Are you a new book person, or an old book person? A really special new book can still get me excited; I just cracked the spine on my (brand new! hardback!) copy of Days of Blood and Starlight and I'm already well and truly sunk.
And while we're on the topic of books, are there any I should be putting on my Christmas list? You lot strike me as the people to ask.