I'm having a hiatus. I love hiatusii - it means wafting around and visiting the library and having conversations with myself about what I'm doing and why.
This morning I got a lovely surprise - my shiny new copy of Saskia Walker's Double Dare. So far I've done nothing more than flirt with it - eye up the beautiful cover and read the snippets on the back. I'll settle in a big armchair later, curl up with a glass of wine and indulge...
But it got me thinking just what beautiful objects books are. Brand new they have that fresh-ink smell, the glossy perfection of the cover, maybe an embossed title. They feel good in the hand. A good, solid, comforting weight, like a thick slice of cake or a well-wrapped gift. Flitting around on the net, words drift in and out of my vision. When writing you're lost in that glowing white screen, and the words are still writhing like live creatures, half real, half imagined.
People are murmuring now about PODs and ebooks and the future of reading. Fact is, though, that there's nothing like the weight of a book - the solid, undeniable, fat-with-accomplishment look of printed words on a page. They're so real. Books are for holding onto.