Great stuff. AS Byatt a couple of times remarks how writers have tried to convey all manner of pleasure and sensation but not that of reading itself, and of everything that happens when we read. She tries to do so, but I always found the way she did it somewhat up in the head and analytical and missing the mark, but this is really satisfying.
I remember doing some school reading with a lad of about eight, he was reading from an old clothbound story-book. he was a perfectly competent reader but we launched off into a conversation about the different look and feel of the book, the paper, the print, printers’ flowers, which impressed me. It was altogether a holistic experience.
The underclothes image is wonderfully lush and over the top!