I thought long and hard about my favourite book, after all, what better time to choose your most cherished literary gem than on World Book Day.
But as the day wore on, I was still no closer to deciding, given the enormous library I inherited from my book-mad father on top of my own treasured collection of children’s books I have saved from my childhood.
Then it suddenly came to me; a book that I very rarely look at, a book that takes some considerable effort to remove from the top shelf and has always to be carried with both hands, a book that was professionally rebound by the one and only person I could find in my then hometown of Bedford.
What book did I choose?
The Family Bible.
Now I don’t have any particular religious fervour and my attempts to return to my weekly visit have been stymied by my particular chaos of life, but this rather large book that measures 34 x 12 x 27cm and weighs in at a hefty 7kg is something really rather special.
Why, you may ask?
Well it could be the beautifully embossed cover that must have been pored over by my predecessors or the still shiny gold edged leaves.
Or perhaps the wealth of black and white illustrations that depict great biblical moments
Then there is the loud proclamation four fifths of the way through the book that you have reached the New Testament
Or the plain and simple Victorian bookmark that I wonder might mark the page reached by the last person to have read this huge tome
It is of course all of these, but what really does it for me is The Family Register where the names of my great great great grandparents have been scribed in the most exquisite Victorian handwriting: James Moseley (born December 8th 1824) married Mary Anne (born April 23rd 1829) on July 5 1847
And the equally wonderful note of when the book was given to the next generation in 1878 and the next in 1908: “Seek ye the lord while He may be found”
So for me it is not just the beautiful book itself, that many believe tells the greatest story on Earth, but also the story of my family told through the medium of carefully hand written dates telling the story of the births, marriages and deaths of previous generations which gives me a feeling of belonging, an affinity with something big and important.
A story that I am continuing as will my sons and maybe beyond to infinity, now wouldn’t that be a great story!
PS You don’t get that with a E-Book!