Let’s see if I can start a Twitter Thing.
In the middle of all the themed pictures people post on social media (food, selfies, fresh poop and so on) there’s the New Book Pic. It seems to be popular among serious readers, who want to show the world their new acquisitions. Which is cool – purchasing a new book is like having a small, unexplored new land at home, still unknown and full of possibilities. However.
In my experience, all regular readers have three categories of books in their home shelves: Books I Still Didn’t Read, Books I Read Once And Have Been Closed Ever Since and Books I Love So Much I Keep Reading Again And Again (the fourth category, Books I Read And Gave Away So Other People Could Read It Too is totally awesome but doesn’t live in your shelf anymore).
The third category is the one I’m interested in. Those books you kept for years, the ones that every once in a while give you cravings until you read them again. They’re not new and pristine – they’re worn out, marked, wrinkled at the weight of their pages because you fell asleep and let them slip off the bed, torn after you left them out of the shelf and at your pet’s reach repeatedly, that white line visible in their spines for being held open hours and hours, the edge of their pages slightly brown instead of white. If any of these descriptions rings a bell, you might have a few (never many) of these books in your home. You refuse to give them away, as if they’re old friends and lovers.
So those are the pictures I’d like to see: the oldest, most worn out, most beloved books people own. The ones you’d usually hide so people won’t think you’re a slob – but you shouldn’t, because they’d only show some genuine book love (also, you may be a slob, but this is a good type of slob).
If you want to join in, post a picture of the book with its title, author and age in your hands. And use the hashtags below:
Anyway, here are mine:
Six Walks in the Fictional Woods – Umberto Eco (16 years)
Bought this one in 1998. It should be mandatory for anyone who wants to write or understand literature. [on Twitter]
Cronopios and Famas – Julio Cortázar (16 years)
Also 1998, but only because my previous copy vanished. One of the best things ever made in Argentina. [on Twitter]
The Devil-Haunted World – Carl Sagan (19 years)
Bought in 1995, and it would take too many words to explain how this book influenced me. [on Twitter]
Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (12 years)
Bought in 2002, so this is “new.” Few things made me laugh as hard as this book. [on Twitter]
The Lost World – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (24 years)
Bought in… I have no clue. It was a family book, I read it in 1990 and kept it since then. Conan Doyle wasn’t just Sherlock Holmes, you know? [on Twitter]
O Jardim do Diabo – Luis Fernando Verissimo (19 years)
Bought in 1995, and this is a signed first edition. Unfortunately there’s no English translation, but this book is all kinds of awesome. [on Twitter]
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller (20 years)
Bought in 1994, my poor, poor copy of TDKR #1. It’s been through stuff, man. [on Twitter]