“What’s more delightful than an evening beside the fire with a nice bright lamp and a book, listening to the wind beating against the windows? I’m absolutely removed from the world at such times. The hours go by without my knowing it. Sitting there I’m wandering in countries I can see every detail of — I’m playing a role in the story I’m reading. I actually feel I’m the characters — I live and breathe with them.”—Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
n. the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured.