80 words: Magic in the Stacks

Spines crept out from bookshelves, connecting rows of colours, barcodes on squares of white. Melvil Dewey succumbed to the human desire for order; he gave out numbers and letters in a system designed for ease. But the words knew no law except their own. Pages crisp and dangerous to soft skin seduced curious minds – harpies in the stacks. People thought the ink belonged to them. But it was the people who belonged to the paper, the true meeting of minds. 

 

I’ve spent a lot of time in libraries (particularly as of late). I do believe with the most fervent conviction that books own us, not the other way around.

 

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