Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ebooks couldn't

Our local bookstore (Bank Square books) has a big table of ARCs -- lots of places (A Libris, for one) sell these, even though it's illegal. At OUR bookstore, you donate a dollar per book and it all goes to our local library,which spends the money on new books. They've collected, and spent, over $200 so far.

I love this idea! Partly because of that, and partly because I am a hopeless addict when it comes to book-buying, I got:*

even though I'm moving on Tuesday and have already moved 20 boxes of books to my new apartment. As I was lugging them up the stairs, the thought did occurr to me that if I had a digital library I wouldn't have to be doing this....but I LIKE my books. In fact, I love many of them. They are my friends. I've had some since I was 4 -- and read some so many times that they are falling apart.

Some contain messages from people I love: my parents used to always write things in the books they gave us for Christmas. Toys were from Santa, but books were signed with love from Mommy (or Mummy in England!) and Daddy; or, sometimes, just one of them. A few years ago I read this in Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare--
"Dearest Libby,
We hope these plots will enrich your appreciation of Shakespeare's expression when you read him.
A very happy Christmas
Mommy & Daddy"

I have very few things (2 letters and 1 postcard) addressed to me in my father's handwriting, and this was like getting a real message from him, all these years after he died.

Another inscription makes me smile -- a childish hand has written:
"To dear Susan Koponen, with love from Grandma."
The real inscription (probably to me or one of my other sisters) has been erased. I have the book now because none of my siblings wanted it -- or any of our childhood books. So I suppose there will always be people who think of books as clutter and don't want them around, but I'll never be one of them.
I may buy ebooks to read on trips, but I won't abandon my old friends or stop buying new ones.

Have fun at ALA, everyone!
*The Book of Dragons (because I love E. Nesbit -- AND, this clever volume is 2 books in one: the other side has The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald)
*Scones and Sensibility, because of the Jane Austen connectin
* The Fairy Godmother Academy, because the heroine is Finnish, like my father and half of me

1 comment:

Abby said...

Very good point! You can't write a loving inscription in an e-book and wrap it up to give to someone! (Not yet anyway...)