Book Lovers—Unite!!!

Thoughtful Reader…

I guess I could set up a poll to answer these questions, but why bother… It is so much simpler to just write up this latest post and let you chime in if you want to.

So, here’s the deal. I like to read. You have probably figured that out by now. I don’t own a Kindle or other e-reader, so that means my appetite must be sated by real books…real, bound, printed books. I think I mentioned previously that I counted over 150 actual titles read last year. So, I think you can start to see the enormity of this problem. Every year, usually in the fall, I gather up my books and start boxing up the ones that I feel obligated to part with. I have to do this, really I do. In moments of clarity I find myself looking in horror at the rising mound of printed paper stored in every available nook (yes, I know…), in my house. If a fire were to break out, the resulting conflagration would be awesome to behold.!!! So, not wishing to incur the wrath of the local fire gendarmes, I sadly (sometimes almost tearfully..) gather up my current stash and head out with all good intentions of parting company with the least treasured of my collection.

My first stop is at the local library where they see me coming, and when my shadow crosses their threshold there is never anyone there to help relieve me of my treasures. I think they hide from me. I really do. I usually manage to convince them that they need some of these epics of literature to add to their collection. Funny, they don’t seem to recognize most of these monumental works. Wonder why that is.?? After lightening my load (by two or three volumes…), I continue my trek to the local thrift store. They make up for the library…they love me here. I think it has something to do with my donating. No matter how hard I try, they always end up with my books and I end up with nothing.

Except sometimes…..and here we come to the gist of this story. After my latest sojurn to the seedy underworld of thrift stores and musty used books, I recouped some of my lost honor. Please don’t misunderstand. They still got my books…for free. But this time I got some books back.!!! Well, yes. I did have to pay for them. No, they weren’t new. Okay, I see where you are going with this. You are thinking, “I thought you were trying to get rid of some books…” And that would be a correct observation on your part. However, and this is important, books seem to have a life of their own…maybe a soul too. So when I came across a small collection in the midst of this shabby thrift store, it seemed imperative that I should save them. Save them from what.?? That is a good question. An ugly demise most probably. And almost assuredly each of them would suffer the ignominy of being separated from their siblings…sold one at a time to someone who couldn’t possibly treasure them as much as I do. So, squealing with delight (if it’s possible for a grown man to squeal with delight…or squeal with anything for that matter..), I grabbed them all up and saved them from who knows what….

So, what did I end up with?? What captured my enthusiasm?? Okay, I will tell you. There were two small collections or series’ of hard bound works. The first is a set of four by William Faulkner. Judging by the copyright dates, I will place them in the late 1950’s. Well taken care of. Pages are starting to yellow, but none torn that I can find. Red cloth bindings are solid. Faulkner’s name impressed into the front cover and gold filled. I have read two of the four….The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying. The other two, Sanctuary and Light in August are now on my reading list.

The second series is a collection of fourteen books most of which would be classified as literature. There are a couple in the series that might seem to deviate from the “literature” standard but all are noteworthy. This series dates from the 1930’s. Pages are yellowing (some worse than others..) but blue cloth bindings are in good condition. Remarkably so, really. Most of this style book I have seen over the years exhibit fraying on the bindings and loose threads etc. These titles range from a collection of Ibsen’s plays, to Voltaire, to Bret Harte and George Elliot, to a book of the worlds great speeches and a translation of Tales From the Decameron.

*****
So, you be the judge. Worth saving..???

Be well…
Howard

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20 thoughts on “Book Lovers—Unite!!!

  1. I share your sentiment I love thefeel of a book in my hands. the smell of the binding. there just something about turning page, actually doing it, feeling the paper slide through your fingers. unfortubately I don’t think books will be around in another twenty years. If real books still exist then they will be extremely expensive. As an author, i’m forced to publish Ebooks because more than half the reading public now owns a reader of some sort and that’s too big an audince to let slide.
    Author Clff Popkey

    • Cliff….I constantly think about the future fortune of real books. I would like to say that there will always be a spot for paper and bindings. And I really think there will be. Permanence is one attribute of “real” books that is hard to duplicate in electronic media. Everything electronic can be “erased,” either accidently or purposefully.
      I have said in these pages previously that I will likely own an e-reader at some point in the future. There are some good reasons to have one—-just not to the exclusion of real books.
      Like I said, “I would like to say that there will always be a spot for paper and bindings.” Of course I could be wrong. Seems like I said something similar about film cameras versus digital ones.
      Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.
      Howard

  2. I strolled past your blog when it first appeared. I decided to come back when I had time to read it. One does not scan a Peacock.
    Came back and delighted that others are reading and commenting to you. They have said about what I was going to say and in such a better way.

    I love holding the book too. I posted elsewhere..somewhere…that when I go to the library I often check out 10…12 books. Bring them home and lay out on guest bed and just look. Try to decide what I want to start first.
    Alas with the computer I am not reading so much. But used to have one book going on the patio, the living room and the bedroom. I can read with the TV running.

    What I am fearful of is that the children now days may not have the feeling of love toward the physical book. I think they will still read as they grow, but the Kidles…I can’t even spell it..lol will have taken over.
    I don’t own one either.

    • Ah,…strolling. I used to do things like that!! I remember your post somewhere about your library binges. I think I commented at the time that I try to finish each book before starting the next (sometimes that doesn’t work…!). I share the concern about our younger generation. Everything electronic—no time for outdoor play, nothing to stretch the imagination or tickle the fancy….like there was for us. **sigh**
      Be well,
      Howard

  3. They are worth saving i do own a kindle for traveling around the city easy to carry but if i’m at home give me a real book any day i love the feel of the weight in my hands and love turning the pages nothing can replace that and you’ll never know what you’ll come across in thrift stores.

  4. Yes! Absolutely worth saving! They look to be in surprisingly good condition, considering. And you couldn’t separate them from their siblings, now could you?

    I DO own an e-reader–actually, as of yesterday, I own two–but I still prefer actual books. I generally use my Kindle to read ARCs for the purpose of reviewing, and the Kindle Fire I just purchased is not for reading, per se, but to use for school (it’s cheaper than most tablets, and will do what I need it to). If I’m reading for pleasure, I prefer to buy books.

    • Hi T.M.—-You expressed my sentiments exactly.! E-readers are new technology (relatively..) that have a purpose. They excel at storing books and reading materials in a small, lightweight platform. For traveling, or purposes as you describe, they are indeed useful. Replace books.?? NEVER!! (I hope..!!!) (I remember saying something like that about digital cameras replacing film…..just shows that I am frequently out of touch with those who make such decisions!…) Thanks for commenting Tamara.
      Be well,
      Howard

  5. absolutely worth saving! those look like absolute treasures! I despise kindles & e-books…not that I hate technology…but they do not replace a real book…pages & chapters bound together…holding it and being captivated into this world that draws you in, the words keep you turning the pages. Where do people think the phrase ‘page-turner’ came from? How can an e-book or kindle be a real ‘page-turner’, when alas there are NO pages to turn? a click does not replace this simple yet important to the experience. Books, especially those which have survived through time are worth treasuring…a book tells more than a story or history. A good book can bring people together…one of my favourite things when I was little was my dad reading the classics(anything from Dickens, to Tolkien, to Shakespeare etc. the variety was vast) and always using different voices to depict each character…giving the stories a life of their own. A good book whether fiction or non-fiction can change the way a person thinks or just allow one to escape their own world for a few moments. A book discovered whether old or new is never a lost cause and always worth rediscovering or rescuing! I cannot say enough about how much I love REAL books vs. e-books! Thank-you for this post! It made me smile.

    • Hi Sarah….Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. I can certainly remember most of the same things you mention. Especially the stories read and told with voices for every character. What a treasure!! I will probably end up with an e-reader just for the convenience of air travel….but that doesn’t mean I will EVER give up real books.
      Be well,
      Howard

  6. I have been hoarding books for the last fifteen years of my life. Considering that I’m only eighteen, that’s a pretty substantial amount of years. I received a Nook tablet for Christmas, and I like it for a couple of reasons: to play games and for textbook storage. E-readers cannot hold a candle to the sensation of reading an actual book. I’ve had so many of my friends and peers tell me how much better e-books are than paper books, and I just don’t agree with them. I definitely would have saved the books and probably even more! I love William Faulkner and pretty much any piece of literature I can get my hands on.

    • Hello Alix..!! Thanks so much for stopping by! I recognize a fellow hoarder by the books on your blog page! I suspect I will own an e-reader soon. They are very convenient for times when you are traveling. The road is not the place for heavy books (especially if you are traveling by air..!!) Interesting comment on Faulkner….One of my favorites too. Some of the others are going to be interesting to read as well. Particularly interested in Ibsen’s work and the translation of Tales From the Decameron. BTW…Education is the way. I will always support anyone who is trying to gain knowledge!
      Be well,
      Howard

      • You’re right, I forgot about traveling purposes! They are great for trips. As the kid who always tries to fit six or seven books into her suitcase, a Nook was a good investment for me because of the extensive amount of traveling I do. I’ve been reading “The Divine Comedy” all summer, but I have yet to even get through The Inferno because I became busy with work. Anyways, I hope the new additions to your collection turn out to be wonderful.

  7. Absolutely worth saving! Come to think of it; if I was there we would have a real ‘fight’ over them. I do not own any e-readers either … I did try it but decided it is not for me. Nothing can replace the smell and the feel of paper books for me!
    Daniela

    • Daniela…LOL–fighting over books. Certain to be a lot more fun than fighting over most anything else!! I suspect I will buy an e-reader before too long…just for those occasions when I am traveling. Can’t always carry heavy books around! As usual Daniela, thanks for stopping by! I always appreciate your comments.
      Howard

  8. Oh definately worth saving. One day my house will collapse under the weight of all the books in the loft! I love real books… Don’t get me wrong the Kindle is convenient and goes everywhere with me. Yet, there is something about the weight, smell and dimensions of a book – it sings to me.

    • Hello S.J.—Always good to hear from you. You hit the nail on the head…there is nothing like feeling the weight of a book and smelling the paper and turning the pages. I can always relax when I am holding a book. And of course there is always the allure of living vicariously through the eyes of the author!!
      Best always,
      Howard

  9. What treasurers you found Howard! They look just wonderful and in very good shape I must say. Thank you so much for sharing your blog address with me. You are such a talented writer. Are you planning to author a book any time soon? You really should. Your style is engaging and delightful!

    Love to you,
    Marilyn

    • Thank you so much Marilyn….This is a labor of love for certain. Thanks for stopping by and reading. No immediate plans for a book although it is something I have contemplated for several years. Maybe….
      Love to all,
      Howard

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