{Photo by Leah Feldon, taken from the roof terrace of our house in Mexico at sunset.}

We’re nearing the end of our half-year stay in San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico. I begin to feel the push/pull of leaving one home and returning to another.

There is always the challenging business of clearing the desk — the piles of papers! — and deciding which books go, and which ones remain behind.

The books that go back and forth are research texts. For pleasure while here, I read almost exclusively on my iPad. There is no longer a good bookstore here (alas!), and ordering on-line is expensive. When I return to Canada, one of my first stops will be at a bookstore.

I love digital reading, but I love books even more, love the sensual dimension of holding a book in my hands, turning the pages, gazing at the cover, making notes in the margins. I love, too, picking out the perfect bookmark (I have quite a collection).

This wonderful YouTube TED talk by Chip Kidd on book design brought all that home to me:

Ah, the smell of a book! As an editor, I loved when the printed book arrived: I would always take a deep sniff. (Books and horses are similar that way.)

What do you love about a book? What books have been extra special physically for you?