The Book Hoarder


24″ x 48″ acrylics on canvas. 2017. Part of Justin Hillgrove’s 2017 exhibition “Well Read.” The show focused on storytelling, books and reading.

“The Book Hoarder”

Gilbert Gruff hadn’t realized there was an attic when he had moved into the old house – and it certainly hadn’t been in the brochure. The typical sense of foreboding one usually feels when exploring a hithertofore undiscovered room in one’s home was replaced with a sense of curiosity and then awe as Gilbert’s eyes adjusted to the dim lighting and registered the tall crooked columns as stacks and stacks of books. And the stacks seemed to continue on endlessly in this… attic? No, not an attic then, but a vast cavernous library that had never been disturbed by anyone of the Dewey Decimal persuasion.

Gilbert explored, until he found a volume that looked particularly interesting, and carried it off to find a good reading nook. He noticed a soft glow some way off and followed it, not taking much note of the harmless library imps scurrying around keeping this treasure trove free of pests. To his surprise, (and yet somehow not surprising at all), the glow emanated from a large, furry dragon with gem encrusted hide and a lazy smile.

It looked up from its book and said “Oh yes, good choice. I do so like that book. Why don’t you climb on up and settle in for a spell. Nothing quite like a good book.” They read until Gilbert’s eyes drooped and the book slipped from his fingers.