I’m already feeling nostalgic about books, now that the ebook is so fully upon us. When reading, I often pause, and regard the book itself: the lovely ragged edges, the cover, the author photo.
I love a book-lined room, love glancing over the books on my shelves, reveling in the memories that the books evoke. I love book clutter, and now I’m loving it all the more, with advance-longing against a time when all this will change.
The social life of a book
Consider the social life of a book! When I love a book, I look forward to loaning it to friends. How will I get to know someone if I can’t browse the books on his or her shelves? How will I know what people in lines, on airplanes, beaches, buses and subways are reading, if I can’t see the cover? (Yes, I’m a snoop.)
Has the time come?
I tell myself that the time has come. We can’t squander trees endlessly in the production of paper. I tell myself: the book will become more of an art-object, a treasure.
But already, facing a quickly-approaching future, I’m longing for the age that was, The Age of Books.
A room lined with books is heaven! I once thought I'd like to own a bookstore, but realized that my goal would be not to sell any, just to hoard them.
I have a hard time to even get rid of my books. I am now 69 and have been a book lover all my life. The younger generation, my children, etc all think I should sell them. I refused to sell them even when I moved and had to pack up boxes and boxes of them. I would have a lot more if I didn't purge my shelves every now and then. Besides I love to read
in bed. Books are incorporated into every room of my home decoration!
Ms Lucy, I'm with you — although I'm looking forward to reading classics on e-readers. The type tends to be too small for comfort on the printed books.
Nan, that's fantastic! Thank you for that reminder.
If it helps you feel better about all this, just think of all the people like me who cannot read print books but can take an ebook and easily make it an audiobook. I have worshipped books all my life, but now I realize that what I was worshiping was actually reading, not books. When I started to lose my eyesight I thought it was all over. Yes, there were books "for the blind" but they were in essence selected for me.. and now with ebooks, I am in hog heaven.
There will never be a time when there are no print books.. they will always be out there and plenty of them. The real difference now is that there are books that I can read too. It's a wealth, not a dearth. Please remember that.
That's All She Read
I could never part with my books..I can't use kindle at all- and I really can't make the transition to ebooks. Believe it or not, although they've been created for practicality (as well as for the environment)…I find them cumbersome- and impersonal.
I cannot imagine a world with real books! I tried using a 'regular' sized Kindle and returned it. Maybe the newer, IPad will make for a better experience – but I am not ready to give up my piles of beautiful books yet!