Friday, June 6, 2014

Some Books are More Special Than Others

I love the ebook revolution. I love my ereader. I love that my books are available in ereader formats as well as print. I love being able to carry a library with me.

So many pluses for the book lover. See a book that sounds interesting. Download a sample. Enjoy the sample. Check out a few reviews. Reviews are encouraging. Buy with one click.
Do all of this from anywhere in the world.

Unlike other readers, I’m not tied to print books. I don’t think there is any loss of enjoyment in the story if I read an electronic version.

But … and it’s a big but, I do bemoan the following:

Nothing matches the joy of an uncle handing you a book from his laden shelves, one you undertake to read with some trepidation, for what can the aging old fellow possibly know about your young heart? You read it anyway, when you haven’t had a chance to get to the library and nothing else is available. It’s old and battered with a dark green cover. You don’t like green. Inside you find a signature you can’t make out as the ink is smudged, but you can read the name of the town and it’s the one where you were born. You flip a couple of pages and see that it was printed in 1929. Lord, it is old. You begin to read and discover it’s a charming adventure/love story. One that you know already you will reread. Bless the old uncle. He’s not so daft after all.

Then there’s the thrill of finding a copy of The Unexpected Mrs. Polifax on the shelf of a book exchange in a coffee shop in small town Mexico. You’ve read every one of the series and here’s a first edition of the first book published in 1966. The dust cover is scruffy, the inside pages stained and musty, but who cares. It’s now your book!

And that book from the library that you read way back in high school and never forgot and still pine for, if only to read one more time. Why oh why didn’t you buy a copy back then? Maybe you could find it on Abebooks. By golly, there it is. One and only copy somewhere in the US and for a few dollars, it too, is yours. You place it reverently beside Mrs. Polifax and gloat.

Don’t forget the pride of ownership of an autographed book.  

From Camilla Gibb (Sweetness in the Belly) “To Darlene, with very best wishes and fond shared memories of Muslim Africa.”
From Robert J. Sawyer (Rollback) “To Darlene in friendship!”
From Susan Ketchen (Born That Way series) To Darlene because you know how difficult this is.”
From Glen Husar (Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen) “For Darlene, Love and best wishes.”
And best of all:
From Anneli Purchase (Julia’s Violinist) “This book would only be a forgotten manuscript if not for your encouragement and support. Thank you.”

Yes, books are special, some a little more so than others. 

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine a world without books.