On Almost Losing a Book

IMG_2436-0.JPGStrange how we can compartmentalize loss. Was airborne on the Paris-Abuja leg of my trip when I realized I’d forgotten a bag, hand luggage, at the baggage place in #Frankfurt airport. It contained shoes a few months old and a catalogue on Barcelona. I think it’s called a Panic Attack–when I realized I couldn’t remember where my copy of Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending was. I couldn’t figure out if I had NOT put it in the bag now missing the stress of the recovery of which was so much I had chosen already, in my mind, not to take it on. It was this book, the possibility of its loss, not of the shoes and a book on a city, that suddenly made immense my forgetfulness. I couldn’t wait to get to #Abuja and search my bags. There’s no term for the joy I felt when I found it safe at the bottom of a bag containing my clothes. Like rapturous. The loss of shoes, even a relatively new formal pair, did not matter so much then. Fiction is very important. As are books. And we judge the first by how personal we feel about the books they are contained in. Shoes can be bought, a catalogue can be reordered. But there is a thing about ones own copy of a great book. Any loss can be borne for the sake of such a little redemption as this. – Ra.

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