Read from April 20th to May 3rd 2018
I’ve often told, to whoever wanted to listen to, the story of a lawyer friend of mine who, in the process of redecorating his apartment, put all his books in three or four huge plastic bags and left them in the (not quite secure) hall of the building. When I asked him how come he was not afraid someone would be tempted to take them, he answered: “Whenever have you heard about book theft? I, in my ten years or so of law practice, I have never encountered such a case.” And this happened almost twenty years ago, when e-books were still a dream of the future and folks like me were spending long hours in old bookstores in search of cheaper paperbacks, so the obvious moral of the tale is that for most people books are not valuable objects; even those who occasionally read don’t have the urge to be surrounded by books, nor to invest in them.
But how do you imagine life in a world in which not having books would be inconceivable, where they are the most coveted items, so that all human beings cherish, fight, steal and often die for them? What a dream world would that be, don’t you agree with me? Well, this is the world that generously opens for you in Jasper Fforde’s novel, The Eyre Affair. It may not be Borges’s paradise (it is not, for sure!) but man, how I would like to live there, if only for a while! In the circumstances, following the Literary Detective Thursday’s adventures it’s the best next, pun intended, of course.