Thursday, June 2, 2011

Under Cover

Angels and gods huddle in dark unopened books.

Charles Simic
Hello Aboisso Ivory Coast
I love books. I have an apartment full of books. They're piled up against all the walls in the other room. They're stacked under my desk, in and on the milk cartons next to my desk and there are a few on the table next to my computer. I have books on art, biography, history, philosophy, religion and science. I even have a few novels. I just ordered three more biographies.
But in spite of all this paper weighing down the floor and taking up space there are still many books I want.

The grandfather of all my books is, of course, my complete Shakespeare, which I have mentioned ad nauseam. I bought it brand new off the shelf at the Harvard Coop for $6.50. It was the first book I ever bought with my own money that wasn't a school textbook. It's almost as old as I am and is falling apart, like me. It has been with me through in and out, up and down, rain and shine, thick and thin.

These days it is more likely that people get their literature from a computer screen and I must admit that I do too, sometimes, but the truth is I would rather have my hands on a book than a mouse.

That there are angels and gods huddled in my books is undeniable. Every now and then when I go through the stacks looking for something I come across a book I had almost forgotten about, open it and am taken away into the visions of some other world. Those gods and angels are waiting for me. The writings found on your computer page are easily dispensable with a click, the books stay around to fill my life and my mind with ideas, facts and inspiration without any interference from any electronic orneriness.

As some wise person said, if you have some money, wear the old coat and buy a book.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.

(This is not a contest)

Come on. 11 diverse and interesting answers so far. Where's yours?

NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.

Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?

I eagerly await your answer.



pacifica62 said...

"Electronic orneriness" is such a great term. I fear that books are going to go the way of the dinosaur. I would suspect that there are people out there now who would have no clue how to look up information in a book. Why would they bother if it is so much easier to type a few words into Google and find out everything you ever needed to know. Hands never need to touch books anymore. There is something quite satisfying about holding a book, flipping through the pages, smelling the ink and paper, and being able to read by flashlight long into the night. No electronic reader or computer could offer that familiarity nor the opportunity to go back through dog eared pagess to find special passages to read over and over again. It is almost like a ritual, a sacred ceremony and an ultimate experience to hold a book for the first time and then discover what lies within its' pages.

Arlene (AJ) said...

I've been a book reader forever, the library is so used to seeing me that they will set books aside that they think I'd like to read and when I come in say "AJ just know you'd love to read this one, so we saved it for you". They also joke about making a comfy bed area for me to stay overnight since they see me weekly. I can't imagine reading from the computer only, I love to make my hot cup of tea, prop my feet up and enjoy reading my books.

Beth said...

I'm sure you know that I share your love, D. A love of reading was probably the greatest thing I got from my Dad, and I know it will serve me well for my entire life.

A used bookstore is my place of worship. :)

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Love the feel of a book in my hands.