IT’S THEIR SMELL. IT’S THE way they feel in my hand(s). It’s the inner voices of different fonts. It’s that they’re a direct link from somebody else’s mind to mine. It’s the varied and variegated subject matter. It’s the endless fun of categorizing and re-categorizing a home library. It’s the way they look on the bookshelf. It’s the impression they make on guests. It’s the way they illustrate my thinking and interests. It’s the way they bend their shelves. It’s the painstaking search for new, used, and relevant titles. It’s browsing their indices, their bibliographies, and their tables of contents. (It’s also the thrill of the recognition of owning, or having read, cited works.) It’s the fugue-state of deep reading. It’s the careful turning of pages. It’s the endless variety of bookmarks. It’s the tingle of anticipation as you start one you haven’t read before. (It’s also the bittersweet moment of completion.) It’s the intense hunger for printed knowledge. It’s their sense of authority. It’s the delight of discovering a new (to me) author. It’s the breakneck pace of a rightly named “page turner.” And it’s the happy pang of knowing that there will always be one more to read.