I flip through the pages of the New York Review of Books regularly and order titles that look promising from my local bookstore. Last week one arrived, a biography of Irish poet Seamus Heaney. It’s lovely, and reading it is taking me back in time.
I have a water-damaged paperback of selected Heaney poems on my office bookshelf. There’s an inscription on the back of the cover and a letter tucked in the middle. The letter and the water damage are related. It’s a whole story.
The magic of a book is its ability to summon other books that cast a spell over you in some earlier time. You may have forgotten about that spell, but any new book will recall it.