Wednesday, August 09, 2017


Only My Books

John Buchan (1875-1940), The Island of Sheep, chapter XII:
That library was the pleasantest room in the house, and it was clearly Haraldsen's favourite, for it had the air of a place cherished and lived in. Its builder had chosen to give it a fine plaster ceiling, with heraldic panels between mouldings of Norland symbols. It was lined everywhere with books, books which had the look of being used, and which consequently made that soft tapestry which no collection of august bindings can ever provide. Upstairs the bedrooms were large and airy, with bare oak floors, and not too much furniture, but with all modern comforts.

What struck me especially was that everything was of the best and probably of high value. It seemed queer to be contemplating a siege in a treasure house.

'The treasures were my father's,' said Haraldsen. 'Myself I do not want possessions. Only my books.'

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