Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Have Riches in the Form of Books

I was recently looking at a new title in our library called UNPACKING MY LIBRARY: WRITERS AND THEIR BOOKS. It was so fun to page through the photographs of various authors and their home libraries.  It made me think of how much I love my own home library.

I'm not sure how many books I have.  A little over 1000 I think. Hardcover titles. Many of them signed first editions.  My 3-yr-old son has over 100 books in his collection.  It's a start.

I recently moved to a new house and haven't unpacked my books yet. I have all the necessities unpacked but, without my books, it doesn't feel like home. I love unpacking and organizing my books. I smile as I pull them out of boxes and marvel at the different covers.  I love the variety of their sizes and shapes and the feel of the paper. I like seeing them all lined up by subject. (and alphabetized by author within subject, of course!)  Once they are in place, I often find myself wandering into the study just to run my fingers over the spines of the books. I love the smell of old crumbly paper. I  love finding the notes of previous owners of the books inside of them. Books are a multi-sensory experience for me.

I don't get any of this from an ebook.  I do see the value of ebooks and I will probably have an e-readers someday for travel.  But I find ebooks to be cold and lifeless.  I can't take notes in them in my own handwriting.  I can't pass them down to future generations. They have no smell or real tactile sensation.  They are dead things that are only "alive" as long as the reader is turned on.  Or as long as the batteries don't run out!

Many of you know that I am a fan of apocalyptic and dystopian fiction.  What would happen to us if the lights went out?  If we no longer had electricity? At least we could still read our paper books. The written chronicles of our lives and our history.  Pretty amazing, don't you think?

As long as I have my books, I will be rich indeed.


Felicia said...

I so get what you mean. When we move one of the first things unpacked are my books. I just don't feel at home until they are unpacked.

Susan said...

Hi Amy, Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

I like what you say about unpacking books, and their tactile pleasure. I don't have an e-reader yet, and am not really interested either. I like holding my books and feeling their weight as I work through them.

I hope you have a lovely holiday with your family, Amy.