Oil on Panel
The dark blue book is a 1939 edition of The Pocket Oxford Dictionary. Given it’s age I suspect that its had a few owners before me. I noticed that the corner of one page is turned in where someone appears to have been looking up ‘Pericardium’ which you no doubt know is a ‘Membranous sac enclosing the heart’.
I can’t remember the last time that I used the Dictionary. That’s not because my vocabulary and spelling are so incredible that its superfluous but today I have Google, Wikipedia and a spell checker. Perhaps reference books are being ‘left on the shelf’ as the internet ushers in new suitors.
Call me an old romantic but whereas the ‘net’ is super convenient there is something special about a real old book. The extra dimension of the tactile pleasure, the musty smell, the unexpected pressed flower, the names and dates written in the front as evidence of ownership. The to and from written with the date and the occasion for which the book was given as a thoughtful gift.
. . . and the mystery. Who was looking up ‘Pericardium’? A Doctor? a patient? a worried mother, father, son, daughter, husband, wife . . . or lover? Whoever, with affairs of the heart no one should be left on the shelf.
Number 24 in the Paintathon.