‘Bookselves’ by Joanna Walsh

Your bookself is a being who thrives on all the unread books that you pile up in corners, everything you’ve neglected, not got round to yet, or discarded. The narrator tells us, “It has been through the charity bag. It has scraped every word from torn and mouldering volumes streaked with tea and bacon fat at the bottom of the dustbin.” I have so many unread books. I keep buying more. This story makes me feel better about it. It also makes me think people’s bookselves should get together at parties and events and readings to talk about books and all our unbookselves could stay at home and read.

First published in Narrative, 2014.Collected in Worlds from the Word’s End, And Other Stories, 2017

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