Originally distributed as HVM Society Membership Notice 2012-12-24
Just a short note, dashed off between rain, floods and disastrous mince pies, to wish all admirers of HV Morton and book fans generally, wherever you are and of whatever religious persuasion you may be, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I tried hard to find a suitable quote from HVM about Christmas or winter, but couldn’t find anything which struck quite the right note. I did however come across this celebration, by Morton, of the “bookmen” – which is to say “the book readers, the book hunters, the book tasters, the book maniacs…” who haunt the bookshops of the bustling Charing Cross Road, London – that captured the mood and I thought might be appreciated by librarious persons during the festive season:
“Lost to the world that touches their elbows as they stand there, the bookmen pry and pore into the books, looking and seeking and sometimes even finding. I love to remember the hours I have spent there, perhaps on spring mornings, sometimes in winter, oblivious of cold feet, when the shop doors open to the warning ping of a little bell, and often in the evening when the lamps have been lighted and the titles shine out splendidly in gold, behind the plate-glass windows.”
from “In Search of London”, 1951, chpt 10
Finally, anyone who, like me, will be raising a glass of the old uisge beatha at the turn of the year can take comfort in the knowledge that, according to this web-site, the top three books to read while drinking whisky are all by HV Morton.
With seasonal best wishes,
24 December 2012