For the Love of Books

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

March 6, 2011

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Geek Love

Image via Wikipedia

I love to read. I always have. I was even more excited when social networking put me in touch with applications like Goodreads. Levi and I bought many of 2010’s Christmas gifts in a book store. I was elated at the opportunity to introduce him to the smell of books.

The sliding sound as you pull the book from the shelf. If it’s a hard back, that hollow thump it makes, between the hard covers. The slight creaking noise it makes as you open it. And, the smell. The glorious, beautiful, wonderful smell of a book. The character embodied in a new book, as its dry pages beg to be loved and turned and read over and over. The character of an old book that has been loved, and read and reread, on shelves of differing nature. The stories it tells with the smell between those pages. That dusty, library smell. New printed page smell. The combination of ink and art flowing through to make such an exotic combination within your nostrils.

I love books.

I also love art. And, sometimes, the two intertwine. I was explaining to a friend, for example, that I learned lemon can neutralize the scent of fresh garlic when fresh sliced is rubbed on hands or cutting boards. Geek Love taught me this – a thought provoking book about freakish changes and what people will sometimes do out of desperation.

The Golden Compass

Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

The same friend who lent me Geek Love lent me the His Dark Materials collection by Phillip Pullman. The first book in the trilogy is The Golden Compass, where you are introduced to Lyra and her magical Oxford that is a lot like ours but very, very different. Subtleties mastered by authors like Atwood shown in delicate perfection with Pullman. The imagery described by Pullman was so vivid, I created a painting. It’s unfinished, as my painting skills have a long way to go. So, in the meantime, it hangs in our kitchen.

When reading meets my visual fantasies, it is a dream come true. Luxurious words, written in a way that makes the vivid imagery pop – so that the only thing I can do is put pen to paper (or brush to paper, as the case may be) and create it. Even in its imperfect scene, the colors are mostly right. That’s what I saw when Pullman’s words pulled me into his story of Lyra. A beautiful thing happens, to be sure, when the sensory scents of the books co-mingle with the tactile description of art.

I love books.

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