I love books, especially old books, the ones with pencilled notes in the margins, turned down page corners marked by previous readers, notes forgotten and left as bookmarks, hand written messages and dedications to people I will never meet, but with whom I share a book, a bond, a bit of one's life. I find myself entering the shadowy serenity of second hand book shops with the silence and deference usually reserved for churches and sacred places. And to me these are sacred places, repositories of thoughts, imaginings, creative manifestation, spiritual communion, scientific righteousness and all of humanity's best and worst endeavours. My heart warms at books that are tattered, coffee stained, sticky taped together, for I imagine they have been much loved. I feel truly sorry for the ones with still uncut pages, virginal and pure, but never experienced by another, never shared, their treasures yet to be uncovered.
I can't really say that all I know about life I have learned from books, but I can say with certainty that books have taught me not to judge a book (or anything else, for that matter) by its cover.