In the film Shadowlands, one of the students who is studying under CS Lewis gets very impatient with the stuffy way that Literature is taught. He’s tired of it being seen as something separate from life, to be apprehended with the head before the heart. Bumping into Lewis a few years later, the student tells him what his dad taught him: “We read to know we are not alone”. This has always made sense to me.
The bookshelves here at what the afternoon knows are wonderfully empty and inviting, waiting to be filled. (And unlike the actual bookshelves in my house, they’re not even dusty—yet…) There are so many great texts, from 900-page novels to 2-line poems, which have delighted and helped me; and it’s going to take me a long time to move into these bookshelves. It’ll be a slow, delicious and almost certainly random process. But I hope that, as I stock these shelves, you’ll find some things which speak to you as they’ve spoken to me. And please do get in touch if there’s something you think I might have a look at, or which you’d like to see on the shelves.