Friday, 9 March 2012

The Bookshop

Italo Calvino's 1979 book, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, is an enchanting novel that sees you, the reader, attempting to buy and read Italo Calvino's novel, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. In one particular passage of the story's first chapter, the following types of reading material are listed as you navigate a crowded bookshop, eager to locate Calvino's.

(This list features in the Lists of Note book, special editions of which can be purchased here. Image via MorBCN at Flickr.)

  • Books You Haven't Read;
  • Books You Needn't Read;
  • Books Made For Purposes Other Than Reading;
  • Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong To The Category Of Books Read Before Being Written;
  • Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered;
  • Books You Mean to Read But There Are Others You Must Read First;
  • Books Too Expensive Now And You'll Wait Till They're Remaindered;
  • Books ditto When They Come Out In Paperback;
  • Books You Can Borrow From Somebody;
  • Books That Everybody's Read So It's As If You Had Read Them, Too;
  • Books You've Been Planning to Read for Ages;
  • Books You've Been Hunting for Years Without Success;
  • Books Dealing With Something You're Working on at the Moment;
  • Books You Want to Own So They'll Be Handy Just in Case;
  • Books You Could Put Aside Maybe To Read This Summer;
  • Books You Need To Go With Other Books On Your Shelves;
  • Books That Fill You With Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified;
  • Books Read Long Ago Which It's Now Time To Re-read;
  • Books You've Always Pretended To Have Read And Now It's Time To Sit Down And Really Read Them;
  • New Books Whose Author Or Subject Appeals To You;
  • New Books By Authors Or On Subjects Not New (for you or in general);
  • New Books By Authors Or On Subjects Completely Unknown (at least to you)