I was walking up and down the rows of books at the antiquarian bookseller’s in Karlova Street. Now and then I would take a look out the shop window. It started to snow heavily; holding a book in my hand I watched the snowflakes swirling in front of the wall of St. Savior’s Church. I returned to my book, savoring the aroma and allowing my eyes to flit over its pages, reading here and there the fragment of a sentence that suddenly sparkled mysteriously because it was taken out of context. I was in no hurry; I was happy to be in a room that smelled pleasantly of old books, where it was warm and quiet, where the pages rustled as they were turned, as if the books were sighing in their sleep. I was glad I didn’t have to go out into the darkness and the snowstorm.
the other city / michal ajvaz / dalkey archive
[illustration: Coriandoli’s Bookstore / Mauro Mazzara]