Today the Week of Books starts here in Holland. That means that if you spend at least E 12.50 on books within this period you get a novel that was especially written for this festive week for free. So hopefully this upcoming week I can go to a bookstore and buy some books. Exploring a bookstore for something new can feel like treasure hunting. Going through your stash of books at home can feel the same.
The two bookcases need some reorganization and I am taking it one shelf at a time. Or half a shelf. These bookcases are an essential part of our living room and contain fourteen shelves. Twelve are – from side to side – filled with books and on some shelves there are two rows of books.
Years ago when I was looking for a book that I had trouble to locate, I found some leftover lolly: an envelope with spending money that was given to me by my father. Apparently I hadn’t spent it completely and forgot about the E 50 that was left and hidden away on one of the shelves.
The Week of Books is a tradition in Holland that goes way back. Ever since 1932 a week in March is really a period of eleven days from the Wednesday of the one week until the Saturday of the next. During that time books are promoted within a special theme and the free novel is written by a different author every year. For 2012 the Belgian writer Tom Lanoye was the chosen author and the theme of this year is ‘Friendship and other inconveniences.’
While I was reorganizing, I came across several things that moved me. It had friendship written all over it! I found plenty of cards that were sent by friends and were scattered between the books. There was also a picture of me and a friend of mine from over twelve years ago. It was taken at a house neither of us seemed to remember, which was the same for the haircuts we were having then.
I am really curious about the book ‘Clear Sky’ by Tom Lanoye. I haven’t read any of his books so far, but over the years I read or listened to him being interviewed on various issues and I thought he was saying very sensible things. Of course at this very moment you cannot open a magazine, newspaper or a page on the internet without recognizing him by his elegant and stylish glasses.
Before the Week of Books ends on March 24th, I hope that I had the opportunity to go through all shelves. There is not a chance in the world that there would be another envelope with money in it. I am not kidding myself. But I am also not that well organized when it comes to gift coupons and vouchers. So if I do happen to find one, it will be spent on books. Otherwise I am hoping for more hidden treasures that bring back sweet memories.
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This post is also available in: Dutch