I love bookshelves, and stacks of books, spines, typography, and the feel of pages between my fingertips. I love bookmarks, and old bindings, and stars in margins next to beautiful passages. I love exuberant underlinings that recall to me a swoon of language-love from a long-ago reading, something I hoped to remember. I love book plates, and inscriptions in gifts from loved ones, I love author signatures, and I love books sitting around reminding me of them, being present in my life, being. I love books. Not just for what they contain. I love them as objects too, as ever-present reminders of what they contain, and because they are beautiful. They are one of my favorite things in life, really at the tiptop of the list, easily my favorite inanimate things in existence, and ... I am just not cottoning on to this idea of making them ... not exist anymore. Making them cease to take up space in the world, in my life? No, please do not take away the physical reality of my books.
She walked down the basement steps. She saw an imaginary framed photo seep into the wall - a quiet-smiled secret. No more than a few meters, it was a long walk to the drop sheets and the assortment of paint cans that shielded Max Vandenburg. She removed the sheets closest to the wall until there was a small corridor to look through. The first part of him she saw was his shoulder, and through the slender gap, she slowly, painfully, inched her hand in until it rested there. His clothing was cool. He did not wake.She could feel his breathing and his shoulder moving up and down ever so slightly. For a while, she watched him. Then she sat and leaned back.Sleepy air seemed to have followed her.The scrawled words of practice stood magnificently on the wall by the stairs, jagged and childlike and sweet. They looked on as both the hidden Jew and the girl slept, hand to shoulder.They breathed.German and Jewish lungs.