Monday, October 07, 2013

Books – a thing of the past?

Being a Luddite in so many respects, I am definitely on the ‘no’ side of this question. And though I admire the idea behind the 'book art' that was displayed in the window at Project Space, I still prefer my books as undesecrated works with words and pages that I can turn. 

Lately, I've been trying to weed some of my many (too many, even I will admit) books. It's a tricky business, as I keep running into treasures that slow me down. 

Oddly, one that I couldn't resist poking into (and keeping) is Frank Ogden's The Last Book You'll Ever Read. About all I can say to the challenge implied in his title is "No, Frank, not quite."

Sure, I have an e-reader, an object that beats the heck out of carrying an extra piece of luggage packed with holiday reading. But in truth, it's not the first place I turn when I'm looking to read something new. I still appreciate the smell of a new book, sometimes even the vaguely musty smell of an old one. And it seems I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Just this past weekend, the Vancouver Art / Book Fair took place at the Vancouver Art Gallery. And only the weekend before was Word Vancouver. Both events are all about books, magazines and reading. This
table at the Library’s concourse had crafts persons helping people make little books of their own.

This morning's newspaper (now there's a form that, sadly, could indeed become a thing of the past) reported community-bonding activitybased in mini-libraries. Again, books as the common denominator between people.

Hmmm. Maybe instead of getting rid of all these books I've put into boxes, I should start a neighbourhood library of my own.

And if you're still not convinced about the case in support of books, borrow or buy a copy of Lane Smith's It's a Book. Or, at least take a peek at the YouTube version of it.  

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