Monday, February 07, 2011


Yesterday was Sunday. That's usually a good brunch at home, and a leisurely persual of the NY Times. The Times is one of our luxuries.

We had champagne, French toast, bacon, juice...and instead of the Arts section, I grabbed the Book Review first. There are some good books in there this week. A new biography on Humphrey Bogart is out, for one. And the antiquarian book listings are always fascinating.

As I was reading it, I wondered: really, will real, hold-them-in-your-hands books ever leave us? Please God, no!

I can see that a Kindle is useful,especially while travelling, or using a knitting pattern. You can buy/download book texts that would be too expensive to buy in real copies.

But what about the books themselves? Has anyone ever read Helene Hanff's books...on books? 84, Charing Cross Road is not only a love story about people. She discusses the feel of a calf-bound book, its romance, the superiority to "the stiff cardboardy covers" of books in the 1940s. What in the world would Miss Hanff think now?

One of the best parts of my childhood was books. Libraries. Walking out with a stack so tall that I had to balance it with the edge of my chin...the luxurious, dusty, rich scent of books en masse in a building made for them. Will children born in the next few years have no chance to experience that? Life will be duller without those books, touched not only by other minds, but by other hands as well. (And cats. I'm always amused by sharp toothmarks in the corner of a book. Someone feline left His Mark as well.)

We belong to a private library, and spend a fair amount of time in the public library as well. Don't forget about them. If you haven't cash to support them, use your time and ideas. And ideals. Books are a luxury we can't afford to discard.


SusieQT said...

I agree. I got a Sony Reader for xmas and I haven'teven had the desire to try it. I have so many real books waiting to be read, it just doesn't seem necessary...

Val said...

I completely agree. I loved visiting the library as a child, and still go there regularly today. I absolutely shudder at a world with no honest to goodness books.