Yesterday I was sitting in the costume shop while G worked on a dress for the university’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof”. I was reading my cherished copy of “The Beautiful Room is Empty” by Edmund White. I bought this book used and it looks as such. The book cover is long gone, some of the pages are wrinkled at the edges. I can tell that whoever owned this book before me loved it as much as I do.
“Beautiful Room” is not a book that one can take lightly or even read in one sitting, its a rich piece of literature that demands that you savor every word. Like a rich dessert, you have to take in a bit, taste it, and let the flavors sink into your being before taking another bite.
I imagine the person tenderly flipping through the pages devouring and savoring every word printed there. Later, as I do, they flipped through the book hastily searching for a passage that plucked the strings of his or her heart.
The history that must fill these pages, the stories of those who have read this book, these very pieces of paper between paper, fills me with wonder.
I took the open pages and held them to my nostrils and inhaled the smell of words.
G looked up from his sewing and stared at me.
“Did you just sniff that book?” he said.
I blushed, marked my place and set it down.
“Oh my God! Booksniffer!” he laughed. “You’re a booksniffer!”
So that’s my new nickname: Booksniffer.
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Cross posted at Sweet Homo Alabama