"A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that “great wits have short memories:” and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation." - Jonathan Swift, "A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Surrounded by Books

I saw this picture this morning on Tumblr, thought, Wouldn't it be nice to spend my days surrounded by that many books? And lo, I proceeded to spend the day perched on my bed, surrounded by about that many library books. It's thesis bibliography day!

Although my back is now stiff from bending over so many books, it's been a lovely three-and-a-half hours of flipping through pages, skimming the fine print to find out exactly when each book was originally published and where.

I also noticed (really noticed, that is), how lovely it is that books are printed in all different shapes and sizes and with different weights of paper, cut in different ways. DVDs and CDs and especially computer screens are so horribly uniform and cold - they've got no smell, no texture, no weight. I think even more than reading books, I like handling them and learning to recognize them by their covers and their unique shape.

I just don't understand Kindle.

Now I need to go put all my books back on my bookshelf.

Photo: http://scarlettshaney.tumblr.com/post/11584628886

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