Bookcase of Wonders

Let me be honest here. I jumped into ebooks and never looked back. It was my dream come true, a never-ending library of titles that I could read whenever I wanted and no one could see (or judge) what I read. Plus I could change the font size to whatever I felt like. Plus, I didn’t need a reading light.

I had dreams of never having books in paper again.

I’ll just pause here to allow all of my printed book fanatic friends to stop gasping. Ready again? Have your ice cream or your teddy bear or whatever you use for comfort when someone suggests the end of all printed paper books? Good.

I realized that certain books, like my enormous books with maps, art or photographs were just not as much fun digitally. So I made an exception in my dream of a paperless book world. It was now a paperless world except for large format graphical books, which were really forms of art. I looped in a few other, smaller books that were clearly intended as art projects.

Steve (a paper book person) pointed out that some books would never be digitized, like many of the primary sources he used. Another friend pointed out that choosing what to digitize was itself a political act. OK! OK! Fine! Another exception for historical works. I guess we have to keep our bookshelves.

Then I started to get involved with writers and this whole structure just fell apart. I found that I wanted some books as trophies. My inner child wanted corporeal proof that I knew these writers and had their books and their signatures right there — on my shelf.

My dream changed. I still don’t want to read paper books (see advantages to ebooks above), but now I want to decorate my house with beautiful books or books that have meaning to me. And if I’m going to do that, I need bookcases worthy of the books. So, I’m on the lookout for appropriate bookcases.

Know that if I ask you for your signature in your paper book sometime or order your paper book in Kickstarter, I’m not going to actually read the book. Quelle horreur! Indeed not. I plan to trap it in my bookcase of wonders. I’ll read the ebook like God intended.

Hope you’re reading good books, whether in paper or digitally. Be well, friends!

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