First Bite

What you see here are parts of books that have not been written. Specifically, that portion of them which you would see if you were to pull it off the shelf and open at random, seeking to learn more about it. Through this experience you may gain insight into an unknown character through voyeuristic browsing of that character’s shelves. It is a tour into as yet uncharted territory. A first bite.

Perhaps what I am attempting is best described by these excerpts from books that have been written:

While Beezus stared, Ramona reached into the box, selected an apple, took one big bite out of the reddest part, and tossed the rest of the apple onto the floor. While she noisily chewed that bite, she reached into the apple box again. […] “ The first bite tastes best, ” explained Ramona reasonably, as she reached into the box again. Beezus had to admit that Ramona was right. The first bite of an apple always did taste best.

~Beezus and Ramona, by Beverly Cleary c.1955

Perhaps you started leafing through the book already in the shop. Or were you unable to, because it was wrapped in its cocoon of cellophane? Now you are on the bus, standing in the crowd, hanging from a strap by your arm, and you begin undoing the package with your free hand, making movements something like a monkey, a monkey who wants to peel a banana and at the same time cling to the bough. Watch out, you’re elbowing your neighbors; apologize, at least. You turn the book over in your hands, you scan the sentences on the back of the jacket, generic phrases that don’t say a great deal. […] Of course, this circling of the book, too, this reading around it before reading inside it, is a part of the pleasure in a new book.
~If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, by Italo Calvino c.1979, translated by William Weaver c.1981

Click on the books below to open them and explore.