The erotic allure of unfamiliar books

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There's a pile of books on my bedside table in various stages of being read; ditto the guest bathroom at my home which doubles as my personal reading room every so often. 

But you will still find me prowling second hand bookshops looking for things that pique my curiosity. This is how I acquired some of David Bullard's "Out To Lunch" compilations which are long out of print.

Second hand bookshops are doomed to extinction in my country because of aliteracy – unwillingness to read even though one is able to do so.

I agree with Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, who says this trend away from the written word is tearing apart culture.

People who have stopped reading, he says, "base their future decisions on what they used to know...If you don't read much, you really don't know much...you're dangerous."

And yet, there are occasional glimmers of hope. At the Slow Lounge at Lanseria Airport yesterday, a small selection of books stood next to the usual assortment of free copies of inflight or business magazines. 

One of them leaped out at me because the author, Hamish Hoosen Pillay (no relation), is known to me from Twitter where he occasionally comments on my tweets. The book title, "The Rainbow Has No Pink", was obscured by a sticker:

Time spent reading is knowledge gained.
Our living library is meant to grow.
If you choose to remove this book from the lounge, please donate one of your own on your next visit to SLOW.

I finished reading the 261 page book on the two hour HLA✈️CPT flight. I will donate multiple replacements on my next trip.