Oh lord, it would be a mess!
Not dirty, I hasten to add. Not any dirtier than a flat that would be that would have both cats and a dog in it. Two dogs; I would love to have a dog but I live alone and work full time outside the home, so it wouldn’t be fair to have one right now. If I lived with my best friend and her menagerie of animals, I’m sure it would be okay if I had a dog too.
It would either have to be a very big flat or a very small dog!
There would have to be wooden floors, all the easier to sweep up the animal hair from, and lots of tall bookcases to house our collection of books. We would have thousands between us! My friend is great with colour, more brave than I am, so there would probably be really bold choices for wallpaper and paint. My pride and joy, my Empire Red KitchenAid food mixer, would have pride of place in the kitchen. She loves her amazing shoe collection, so there would have to be room for that. My handbags could take up a flat on their own. I have a giant marshmallow of a sofa, slightly battered and scratched, but oh so comfortable.
Actually, it sounds pretty great!
This is an odd question for me, although not for one of my very best friends. For the sake of protecting the flagrantly guilty, we’ll call her Beth. Beth is a rapacious reader. Her flat is lined with bookcases, often stacked precariously on top of each other. Books are packed onto them three-deep, covering every subject you can possibly imagine. I myself have bought her romance novels, books about surviving in the wild, an atlas of world history and a collection of maps designed by a teenage computer genius.
You can tell which books Beth is currently reading by the weird objects she uses to mark her pages. The silver paper that wraps chocolate biscuits, receipts, postcards, newspaper clippings and even, on occasion, an actual bookmark purchased for the purpose. You can track where she was when she was reading by what she’s used to mark her page. The one thing that she doesn’t do, thank goodness, is fold the corner of the page down.
Me? I don’t use bookmarks.
Sometimes it’s because I’ll read the book entirely in one sitting so I don’t need one. Other times, I remember the page number. I don’t know why I don’t use bookmarks, I have plenty of them. Everybody knows that I like reading, so I usually get a few novelty bookmarks every year as part of Christmas and birthday gifts. At the moment they all sit crammed onto a bookshelf, unused and unloved. I just find it more natural to remember a page number.
Now that I read on my iPad a lot, I have no need of a physical bookmark as the Marvin app I use automatically keeps my place. Perhaps the next time I go to visit Beth, I’ll take my collection of book marks with me to give to her!