My new old book was send by someone whom I've known for a very long time. I could say school friend except that we weren't really friends in High school. But we served our time there together. We have the same name. Julia was the most common name given to girls in 1978, the year of our birth.
After school we went our separate ways.
Our parents knew each other even before we were born so during the last ten years we had knews here and there. 'Julia this' and 'Julia that'. I knew she had done an apprenticeship to become a book seller.
A few months ago we met here, in Berlin. We spend three and a half hours in one of the biggest bookstores in the city and I have to tell you: Never go to a bookstore with Julia. Not unless you're rich, don't like reading or are absolutely resistant to good advice and counseling.
She's very good! I had thought I was a reader but I was sadly mistaken about that.
But not only had she read all the interesting books, she can sell them to a heartless stone, I'm sure.
A couple of days ago I found my new old book (it's out of print apparently and this one has belonged to at least one person before it came to me. I love old books.) in the mailbox and was, of course, delighted to get a thoughtful gift in the real mail, but it's also a book I am delighted to read. A week ago I knew nothing about Helen Keller and in a couple of days, when I have finished this beautifully written book I'll have a very good excuse to enter a bookstore once more. To buy more books. Written by Helen Keller this time. They'll then go on top of the pile of 'books I still have to read' (mingling with Chomsky, Arundhati Roy and Hemingway, to name just a few, and what a pretty party that will make) and maybe, in a year or so, I can build something from all those books. A house maybe. A small one.
What are you reading, friends?
Sasha, you won yesterday's advent gift. Would you write me an email and tell me your address, please?
For everyone who's new to the Lineanongrata blog: We have an ongoing celebration of Advent going here. Every day one of you readers wins a small gift. If you'd like to participate, just leave a comment on each post until the 24th of December and you'll automatically enter the draw.