Book or eReader?

While estate saleing and thrifting this weekend several books made it into my hands… as if there aren’t enough at jewel already! I am endeared to some of the strangest things and the above photograph shows one of them.  Old books, books who have either been mistreated or used till they are ragged.  I prefer to think that most, including this one, are used until they are ragged.  What first caught my eye though was the art… the art of book binding… beautiful paper, paper that feels good to the touch, paper that has turned brittle and a warm shade of yellow through the years; fabric, fabric on the cover that is printed with a wonderful design that was likely inspired by the thought of Dorothy whose silhouette is included as well.  Will these “ingredients” become extinct in years to come?

Then there was this one, “A Brief Illustrated History of the Bookshelf”, by Marshall Brooks.  The estate sale was in a beautiful home that had a library with three floor to ceiling walls of bookshelves.  The center of the room had a skylight with a reading area beneath. Of course there has been no time to read these books, but I have glanced at their pages.  This one mentions the Library of Congress and Boston, both which I have had the pleasure to visit.  The Boston Public Library still being one of the most awe inspiring places I’ve ever been.  Will home libraries become extinct and will public libraries turn into museums?  What about the bookshelf?

And there was this one, with none other than a child Romeo and Juliet on the cover, Copyright 1900 and the handwritten inscription inside the cover, To Gayle, London, England 1915.  Thank you Gayle for sharing your beautiful book with me nearly one hundred years later.  I wish I knew how it made it across the pond.

A friend shared the following story with me earlier this week…

Just So You Know

By: Sarah Addison Allen

You fall in love with every book you touch. You never break the spine or tear the pages. That would be cruel. You have secret favorites but, when asked, you say that you could never choose. But did you know that books fall in love with you, too?

They watch you from the shelf while you sleep. Are you dreaming of them, they wonder, in that wistful mood books are prone to at night when they’re bored and there’s nothing else to do but tease the cat.

Remember that pale yellow book you read when you were sixteen? It changed your world, that book. It changed your dreams. You carried it around until it was old and thin and sparkles no longer rose from the pages and filled the air when you opened it, like it did when it was new. You should know that it still thinks of you. It would like to get together sometime, maybe over coffee next month, so you can see how much you’ve both changed.

And the book about the donkey your father read to you every night when you were three, it’s still around – older, a little worse for wear. But it still remembers the way your laughter made its pages tremble with joy.

Then there was that book, just last week, in the bookstore. It caught your eye. You looked away quickly, but it was too late. You felt the rush. You picked it up and stroked your hand over its glassy cover. It knew you were The One. But, for whatever reason, you put it back and walked away. Maybe you were trying to be practical. Maybe you thought there wasn’t room enough, time enough, energy enough.

But you’re thinking about it now, aren’t you?
You fall in love so easily.
But just so you know, they do, too.

*****

This past Friday and Saturday were beautiful 60 degree days spent in the garden and yes, sitting out there with these books taking a quick look at their pages.  My heart tells me that books will never be a thing of the past, but my head is telling me something different… it’s not a pleasant thought, but I have more books than time left in this life so it’s all good I guess.  No, I will never have an eReader… NEVER, but I do think it is time to enroll in that book binding class that I’ve been wanting to take!

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~ by kcjewel on March 13, 2011.

6 Responses to “Book or eReader?”

  1. Your photos of your books tell a story no eReader could convey. It is up to us to be the “keeper” of books or future generations will never know the look, touch…or even smell…not to mention the comfort of holding such treasures.

  2. That book from London is a treasure! I will never bring myself to believe that books will ever go away. There would be no way to replace the memories. One of my treasured possessions is a book that my older brother gave me for my first birthday.

  3. I prefer books over readers.

  4. I agree with you, I will NEVER have an eReader, because there’s just nothing like holding a real book in your hands.
    Those old books you found are beautiful. I wouldn’t say they’re “used until they’re ragged”, but rather “loved until they’re ragged” :-)
    LOVE Sarah Addison Allen’s story!

  5. I am with you. My husband got a Kindle last month, and loves it. That is fine for him, but I like visiting the library (I did today) and checking out the new arrivals at the bookstore. It just wouldn’t be the same on a Kindle.

    Those old books are treasures, and a bookbinding class sounds very interesting. A few years ago, one of my artist friends taught me how to make an accordion book. Since then, I have done a couple more.

  6. It will be a sad day if it comes to where books no longer being printed. Reading extensively on the internet or computer always gives me a headache…books don’t do thet to me!

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