Books, of the paper and ink variety, often have interesting lives once they leave the publisher and go out into the world. They have stories to tell far beyond the stories they tell, so to speak.
This was brought home to me recently when I took up a new study and ordered some second-hand books to begin my reading. I didn’t buy e-books because the subject – the history of plants and gardens – warrants a great deal of illustration, and I wanted to see it all properly.
When my books began to arrive, in various states of repair, I was reminded of the sheer delight of handling the physical book – the quality and weight of paper, the gloss of illustrations – and began to wonder what their previous lives might have been.
My copy of The Plant Hunters, by Toby Musgrave et al (published 1998) was pristine…
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