Inspired by Emily Diana Ruth’s Letters to July series, along with Carrie Hope Fletcher’s re-jigging of the concept for her own Letters to Autumn seriously, I thought I would write a little snippet each day to the lovely month that is October. So here goes nothing…
Today I held a book that was 400 years old. Okay it might have actually been 392 or 416 years old but the point is, I held a very old book. And yes that’s incredibly geeky to be so fascinated by it but, October, it was okay because I was in a class full of people that felt the same. It’s amazing how much less embarrassed of your geekiness you can feel once the person sitting next to you has the exact same look of ‘ooo old books’ on their face as is on yours.
I didn’t know that the library had archives. That sounds so silly but it turns out, yes, the library does stock old books. And yes you have to make an appointment and request the book be brought into a room so just you can look at it but you can look at it, and touch it, and read it. What surprised me most was that they didn’t tell us to be careful (well, yes, that’s a given but still) or not to breathe too much near it. We didn’t even have to wear gloves.
And it’s a weird unsettling feeling to touch something that was made in the 17th century. The oldest book I held before today was from the early 1900s and I got an odd geeky thrill from that. So you can only imagine what it was like when we passed around a copy of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene. So today, October, I decided maybe it’s okay to be so thrilled by the prospect of a really old book because, it turns out, there are people exactly the same as you close by. In fact, they came back to university to continue studying English. Funny that, isn’t it?