Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday morsel: "ideas, impulses, proverbs, and plots"

From the book I'm currently reading:  The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch:

"I remember as a very young child being warned that libraries and bookstores were quiet places where noise wasn't allowed.  here was yet another thing the adults had gotten wrong, for these book houses pulsed with sounds; they just weren't noisy.  The books hummed.  The collective noise they made was like riding on a large boat where the motor's steady thrum and tickle vibrated below one's sneakers, ignorable until you listened, then omnipresent and relentless, the sound that carried you forward.  Each book brimmed with noises it wanted to make inside your head the moment you opened it; only the shut covers prevented it from shouting ideas, impulses, proverbs, and plots into that sterile silence.  What an enigma (a word my young self wouldn't know for years) that such a false sense of quietude should be imposed on this obviously noisy place."

I like the idea of a bookstore full of books that hum; that doesn't seem at all unlikely, considering I know of a bookstore where the books dance the night away.  Visit it here.


  1. "false sense of quietude" - Apt description for a book, Jeannie. Just open the book and smash the silence!


    P.S. Great video. I think I saw it a while back, but had forgotten just how clever that filmmaker is. And the choices of what books to use where show what must be a real love of books.

    1. I just can't imagine the hours upon hours it must have taken to set that video up! A true labour of love. I'll never pass a closed bookstore at night again without peeking in to see if there's something going on...

  2. Sometimes the hum is deafening!

    I remember once when I was reading Anna Karenina, my husband said, "How can you bear to read that night after night?" I said, "It takes effort to NOT read it." Then I tapped the cover. "There are things happening in here -- deep things -- conversations!"

    " . . . omnipresent and relentless, the sound that [carries] you forward."

    - Yes, THAT!

  3. Replies
    1. It was, wasn't it?

      It's really neat to think that there's a whole life inside a book just waiting to be experienced by someone who opens and reads it. IT'S ALIVE ..... woo woo ...



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