Exploring Our Intimate Relationships with Books: Why Readers Treat Their Paper Lovers Like Real Companions

  I found an old book from a secondhand book market. On the title page were written the words “Books are lovers and will never be borrowed.” The situation is quite thought-provoking. How did the original owner become separated from his “lover”? Did he move or graduate? I can even imagine the situation where “the king lives in Ziyou, and the concubine lives in Heyang” and has to say goodbye to his lover, holding hands and looking at each other with tears in his eyes.
  Italian writer Umberto Eco said: “The books on a person’s bookshelf are part of his experience – when many people read, they will project their own feelings and will into the books. Once an emotional attachment is established, Even if the fictional characters in the book lived hundreds of years ago and tens of thousands of miles away, they will still feel very close to themselves in reality.”
  Zhou Zuoren and Qian Zhongshu both believed that showing their bookshelves to outsiders was very scary. Things – every book that has entrusted the owner’s beautiful emotions is a paper lover, part of a secret relationship, like a beautiful lady hidden in a golden house, only suitable for “flirting” with oneself in private situations Pretty” and cannot be used to entertain the public. Xia Chuzun once wrote an article in which he said that in the past 20 years, 12% of his living expenses were spent on books. The most valuable thing in his home were books. For this reason, he often proudly compared himself to the emperor in ancient times. The collection of books on the shelf was “listed in rows”. A palace maid who lives in a house.” If a person regards a book as a lover, the unpleasant feeling when seeing someone else flipping through the book with saliva is no less than watching a lover being teased by an evil young man holding his chin with his finger.
  At the beginning of the 20th century, Katherine Mansfield, a female writer known as the founder of New Zealand literature, was very fond of Lawrence’s works. Once she was drinking coffee at the Café Royal in London, England, and saw several people sitting next to her chatting with Lawrence’s new collection of poems “Amos”. She thought the book was extremely ridiculous. Mansfield was so angry that he stood up and walked to the seat next to him, pretending to borrow a book to read. Once he got the book, he walked out of the cafe, leaving the few people sitting next to him looking at each other at a loss.
  Among the people whose books were robbed was Aldous Huxley, the author of “Brave New World.” Soon, everyone in London’s literary circles knew that Mansfield had fallen out with Huxley over a book of poetry. Afterwards, through the mediation of Ottoline Morel, the “big sister” in the London literary circle, Mansfield apologized for his reckless behavior and returned the book to Huxley, but also criticized Huxley’s treatment of Lawrence. The work is so irreverent, thinking that no matter who encounters this kind of thing, they will defend their paper lover.
  From different paper lovers, one can also gain insight into some private matters of personal preference, even related to a person’s family happiness. I once visited the mansion of an acquaintance. Everything was very elegant, but what impressed me most was the two study rooms, one each for him and his wife, and they did not interfere with each other. I guess he must have been inspired by the Hollywood movie “Brother and Sister”: Catherine Zeta-Jones collapsed on the spot when she saw that the book her young boyfriend read before going to bed turned out to be “Harry Potter”.
  However, there are always compromises and accommodations in life. The relationship between readers and paper lovers is like a real marriage. There are times when the love is mixed with oil, and there are also times when the relationship cannot stand and requires divorce. After American columnist Marina Benjamin got married to her first husband, he saw the books in her study and immediately swore that if he saw them before marriage, he would never fall in love with her. Later, Marina Benjamin married an Englishman and moved from New York to Scotland. She learned the lesson of her first marriage and kept her husband from her other self from her book collection. So she simply shipped her clothes, furniture, art and decorative knick-knacks to Scotland, leaving all her books in New York.
  Human beings are born with emotions, and it is their unchangeable nature to like the new and dislike the old. But unlike real relationships, the process of breaking up with a paper lover is much more peaceful. After all, paper lovers can keep secrets, and no one will know about the emotions and memories that were once placed in the book.

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