To hold a book in your hand: off topic

This little film was found by my friend Cindy who is a school librarian in Canada.  She often finds many wonderful creations made of books, but this time she had one about books.

There is a bit of controversy about the new book readers, and I do admit I use the free software from Amazon to help save money on the cost of owning books, and yet…  sitting and reading at my computer will never supplant the feel of a book in my hands.

There is a certain mystique about the bound volumes.  I believe for me it is the scent of old ink on yellowed and dog-eared pages that bring me back time and again to the old favorites on my own bookshelf.

Then there is the library.  Oh how I love the vastness of a library, the stacks and the sheer volume of their contents, the perfume of ink and paper all bound in cloth or leather, and the quiet solitude in which to revere the old tomes.

Image:  Library, El Escorial, Spain via APTM (click photo for source)  

What a beauty!  But perhaps too big?

Oh!  Now this is just perfect!  Image:  Rodrigo’s library via Your Shelves (click photo for source)

When I taught, I used to tell my students to treat all books with care.  I told them that books were like old friends that could tell you stories, and that any time you’d like you could go back and read the story again.  I told them that through the pages of a book they could learn anything, go anywhere, and discover new ideas and information to make them smarter, more wise.   Many listened and they soon discovered that a good book on a favorite topic could make you magically learn to read… or so it seemed to them.  Suddenly reading wasn’t a chore, it was fun and it became a favorite pastime.

Somehow, I believe that no matter how many books you can cram into that little flat handheld screen, it can not replace the hunt through the stacks for an old favorite.  Perhaps the one in which you discovered to read all by yourself, or the one you got for your birthday from Grandma and Grandpa.  Or one a good friend gave to you because they knew you loved it so much.  No, that is not the same at all.


The Fantastic Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore





Thank you Cindy for providing the seed for my post today! 

10 thoughts on “To hold a book in your hand: off topic

  1. Lindy Barnes says:

    Lynda, perfect topic for a true bibliophile. I have been vacillating over purchasing an e-reader for months for the very reason you listed. I have no more room on my bookshelves and thus an e-reader would solve that problem. An e-reader is easier to travel with than a sack full of books (which is how I usually travel). An e-reader can be stuffed into my purse every time I leave the house – just in case I get stuck someplace. BUT – an e-reader will never take the place of holding a real live book in my hands, turning the pages, leafing back and forth to pick up a tad more information I might have missed, touching the book, smelling the book, feeling the book. I also love libraries. In fact. before I became a teacher I was an assistant librarian (I did not have the Master’s Degree for a full librarian). I loved my job and then I loved teaching. Although I consider this choice a dilemma I will probably end up going in both directions = real books and ebooks.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Lindy, I think you are on to something. I also think that possibly many others will choose to have both real and e-reader book choices. I would hate to think of a future with only one choice, in other words, the e-reader.
      ~ L

  2. sassafrasvalley says:

    I think your posting was dead on and perfectly timed (for me anyway). I am working on making my moms cottage into a B&B/farmstay/retreat. And one of the first groups of people I thought to market to were Book Clubs. It is a beautiful old home with cupboard beds in windows w/drapes and lights, perfect or curling up to read ones book in. And a sunroom covered in ivy. And a fireplace and chenille couch. Plus the downstairs here is a full library.

    As I researched grops to market to, I found more and more places offerring NO big screen TVs, no WiFi and no phones. Some didnt offer breakfasteither, but the food in the fridge fro your own timing.

    As a landscpe designer who just missed out on the CAD programs when I got out of school and only designed on paper, I found people’s reactions to that NOT negative, but positive. Then my volunteer last year (archetect grad) did his thesis work by hand. I was floored.

    I think that we really dont cherish these advancements. There is nothing to connect with emotionally. But the weight, smell of a book, seeing erase marks and corrections on a design etc… that’s real.

    And to get away from all the technology to a sweet cottage on a goose farm, at the bottom of a valley, with a kitchen stocked with local products and garden to pick from? Worth a lot.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Connie, sign me up for a room! Really, it sounds so wonderful. Strangely, I have been thinking a lot about how far we have come with new and improved… and it really isn’t all that great. Currently (off topic again, I am working on sewing and quilting. There are so many advancements and newer “better” (???) sewing machines out there, there are new cutters that will stamp out perfect fabric cuts for you quickly, and I don’t want any of it. The new quilting/embroidery machines do most of the work for you and I was intrigued in the beginning, then I realized that I have more fun cutting the fabric myself. The embroidery looks from them looks like it came from the store… being heavy, chunky and like a patch, with none of the elegance found in the handmade work. Nah, we have to draw the line somewhere. I like to think that someday the work I have done will be a treasure to keep, whereas the machine made items will go out of fashion and be replaced by the next new thing. As for the good books, they will always have their place, and someone to appreciate their loveliness. Best of luck with your plans, and I am serious about wanting to come and luxuriate in your low tech B&B! ~ L

    • pixilated2 says:

      We need to make it then. I have a wall in my living room that I have wanted to be bookshelf lined since we moved here. I think I will have to hone my carpentry skills if I want to see it though. 😉
      ~ L

  3. Cindy Kilpatrick says:

    I’m so glad you shared this, Lynda. I really love it. I’m glad I won’t live to see the day of a world without books. People will be too different there – although it might be a good thing if an evolved attachment to the virtual will solve the huge problems we have created with our materialism.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Cindy you are a wealth of inspiration, and I had to share. I have fun visiting your library and seeing what’s going on out there in kid’s books. You have a unique outlook on what goes on, and an eye for what is important and/or unusual. Thank you for all your hard work my friend! ~ L

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