Abandon hope, all ye who enter here

It’s written on the gates of Hell, you’ve heard about it. Dante put it there, but he will tell you it was already there when he walked through the gate, the sign staring at him, him staring at the sign, his courage fading, though the writing endures, despite the age of the place, a pandemonium…

A tale of two texts

Text is like skin. There is one on the outer surface, the epidermis, and another, the dermis, lying underneath. The two layers may be perfectly connected and aligned, limpid and percolative, or they might get in another one’s way, blocking each other. There is the text on the surface, on the hair side, so to…

The codex leap forward

Papyrus scrolls are great for storage. They take up far less space than bound books. The rolled format provides better preservation than book leaves/pages. Scrolls are great for storage and for transport. They are however far worse for looking stuff up. In the end, it was searchability, not storage or portability, that had the upper…

The confessions of a bookmark (final part)

Readers tend to forget that pages are like human skin, they are a depository of history, and I don’t mean history books. If read properly, a book becomes something more than what it has been before. Creases, soil, stains, the grooves in the spine, the furrows and wrinkles in the corners, these are indelible marks…

The confessions of a bookmark, part 5

Forgetfulness is my greatest enemy, by far. Although I often question my own existence, I am certain that I was thrown into this world for a clear purpose. So strong is this sense of mission, that I sometimes forget that I am also supposed to enjoy those nights when I lie immobile between the pages….

The confessions of a bookmark, part 4

As I’ve told you, I like being what I am, a bookmark open to the heavens of knowledge, imagination and history. I like being of service to the reader. I never waste time while I lie within those pages. That’s when my work begins. The reader thinks that by putting the bookmarked book down, reading…

The confessions of a bookmark, part 3

I understand it may seem strange to you how a bookmark like me can boast of so many experiences. In many ways, dear reader, I am like you. I am also a member of society and I perform services in exchange for the benefit of a decent existence. I mark pages, but I also lay…

The confessions of a bookmark, part 2

I am lucky to be one of those bookmarks that are not attached to the book with a thread. This way I can travel to other books and see more than I’d be able to otherwise. I am not made of silk, but I wholeheartedly embrace the trade-off. Occasionally I worry that I might slip…

The confessions of a bookmark, part 1

I have travelled and seen lots of things. I have been to places people only dream of, and conjure up in their minds, places that might exist, or should exist, or can’t exist. I have enjoyed the company of so many diverse people, creatures, animate and inanimate beings. I have been privy to all the…