Here you’ll find everything that is on my favourite bookshelf. The shelf is almost full but it’s flexible enough to find space for another book when I come across something that fits the bill. Some books have been on the shelf for over 50 years. One or two arrived a month ago. The covers of the books are showing signs of wear and tear, which are the best signs of all. However excellent a book may be, it is no good to anyone if it stays on the shelf and is never read. That’s Johnson. I do not remember his exact words but there you have the gist of it.
I have a friend who once said, “When there is a family crisis and things are difficult, I go to Jane Austen for comfort.” Well, I have done that too. But not only to Jane Austen. There are many other books waiting up there.
I go to this shelf for enjoyment in good times and for solace in bad.
No, that’s not right. I go for enjoyment in bad times too! Why not?