In my grandmother’s room, the books were lying down; she used to borrow them from the lending library and I never saw more than two at a time. These trashy works reminded me of New Year sweetmeats because their shiny flexible covers seemed to be cut out of glazed paper. Bright, white, almost new, they served as an excuse for petty mysteries.
Each Friday, my grandmother would get dressed to go out and say: ‘I’m going to take them back’; when she returned, and had taken off her black hat and veil, she would take them out of her muff and I would wonder, mystified: ‘Are they the same ones?’ She used to ‘cover’ them carefully and then, having chosen one, she would settle herself by the window, in her winged armchair, put on her spectacles, sigh with pleasure and weariness, and lower her eyelids with a delicately voluptuous smile which I have since discovered on the lips of the Mona Lisa.
Jean-Paul Satre, Words (1964).
I, too wonder, what dear old granny Satre might be reading that can elicit such pleasure and contentment, and not to mention the ‘voluptuous Mona Lisa smile’? 😉
And what about you, dear readers? When was the last time you caught yourself settling down with a book, with such visible pleasure? And what might that book be, if I may ask?