“There are books which we read early in life, which sink into our consciousness and seem to disappear without leaving a trace. And then one day we find, in some summing-up of our life and put attitudes towards experience, that their influence has been enormous.”—Anaïs Nin, “On Truth and Reality”
Like the Pantone color chart, the beautiful book is a diagram of ‘historical inexactitude’ which reflects (by turning) something ‘not there.’ A very beautiful painting should have its pages turned endlessly and without thought. What is ‘not there’ is opposed to what appears in a poem or building or painting. It should never be necessary to turn a page when reading.
The page should turn before you got there. This is known as history.
Sometimes I’ll just read half of a book and then put it down for months. Not because I dislike the book. There’s just something oddly comforting about being able to disengage from a world and come back later to have not missed anything.
“As I walked, I ran my fingers along the spines of hundreds of books. I let myself be imbued with the smell, with the light that filtered through the cracks or from the glass lanterns embedded in the wooden structure, floating among mirrors and shadows.”—Carlos Ruiz Zafon (The Angel’s Game)
“Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me—the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.”—Anaïs Nin, In Favor of the Sensitive Man and Other Essays