What is so pleasing about the neat, repetitive content of books that make neat, repetitive lines on shelves in neat, repetitive floors of a library? Part of the answer lies in the comfort of order: there’s a sense of reassurance that all those ideas can be contained. But there is another reason too.
There is nothing quite like the sense of expectation from the first page of a book, or the first corner turned in a new place. You are there at the beginning – you can feel the weight of the pages ahead, see the road winding into the distance. As you start to read or walk, the journey holds your attention, your brain and body move you through it. You think new thoughts, see new sights; you’re moving, it feels like floating.
Time passes. The remaining pages feel thin in your hands; the horizon has come to meet you. Your eyes are tired and your feet are sore. Expectation has turned into memory, but that sense of touch will linger. When the process starts again it is similar, but you know it is not the same because you have been given a new perspective. Your senses are keener, the view is clearer.