Sensual desire for paper
My friend is not only in love with books. He has a deep and I suspect, a thrilling fetish for them.
His favorite haunt is the thrift shop, nestled in one of Amman's neighborhoods. I first told him about it but now he goes there more than me. He went once, it allured him, he went twice and he become addicted, he went thrice, and started to smell the musty paperbacks before he bought them.
The other day he mobile phoned me, just leaving the thrift shop, he said in a melancholic but excited mood, that he bought four books, but practically had to tear himself away from buying more.
He was panting, more like a sensual desire for the paper. All the paperbacks were there from Catcher in the Rye, John Grisham and Joseph Heller's sequel to Catch 22. This was the only three I could catch in his voice.
He blabbered all sorts of things about how is soul is connected to books, how he wanted to sit there among the paperbacks and drool, and this is a new one for me too, how he saw himself as one of those fictional characters jumping up and down from one book to another moving from page to another as a kind of superman, detective, a spy and a hopeless romantic.
This is his life he told me, I can be anybody and everybody at the same time moving from one character to the next with fiction becoming reality and reality becoming fiction.
"Come down, come to the thrift shop and buy, they'll give you for a cheap price, tell them you are my friend," he shouted over the cell phone.
"But I have plenty of books, they are coming out of my ears and spewing on the floor," I replied calmly and rather tired. I like books but they just don't have the same desirous affect on me as it does on him.
"They need to keep coming out of your ears, and every crevice you have," he hollered back with the sense of the voyeur who looked at the spine of the book as he was examining the next blind date.
With that, I didn't know what to say. Its true I like to read books, sometimes, actually I should read more. But my friend is a connoisseur of books, he is more like a collector rather than a judicious reader.