Continuing my series on people’s personal libraries, I photographed the books at my Aunt Eva’s ranch in New Mexico. Her parents, my grandparents, as well as her grandparents also lived on a ranch. She has a number of old family books stored in her workshop, in cabinets to keep the dust off them. Her library is spread out, to different rooms, different buildings, and spans generations. She owns books from her father and grandfather. They have been folded into her library easily, and referred to often by multiple readers.
So sometimes, soifollowjulian goes on vacation. And I never travel without a few books to read. Because that’s the greatest vacation of all: immersing yourself in a book in another state.
I visited my Aunt Eva in New Mexico last summer. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. Everything is so beautiful, so solitary, so noble. The desert’s soundtrack on a sunny day is obscenely loud in its emptiness. There are no vehicles, no phones, no planes. There are grasshoppers, bees, birds, and cattle. There’s the ever-present fear of the rattlesnake and so you hear fake sounds in bushes. You avoid holes in the arroyo. You hear the wind blow the bushes and see the tumbleweed push past. And the smell. Of dirt. Clean, non-allergenic dirt. Not that city dust that affects your allergies. Just clean dirt pounded down by the rain then dried and cracked in the sun.