Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Book As Object

I've abandoned all thoughts of getting one of those e-reader devices, like a Kindle, despite the in many ways attractive logic of having one. This leaves me with a big headache with regard to storage space for real books, but I think that problem can be solved. Basically I'm thinking of giving some books away, freeing them to the world, and also we rent storage space anyway since moving into Hall and I might just start making greater use of that space. Not that my accumulated stock of books is growing at any speed given the fact that I read so little. That's part of the reason why I don't think I need to consider moving into the e-reader field.

But the real reason is a brutally simple one: I like the feel of books. The whole sensory thing I've come to realise is part of the pleasure of reading for me (that pleasure being the reason I read, by the way, in case you thought I might have nobler motives.) The more I think about it, this is a disturbing thing to admit to, and entirely irrational. But, what the heck, it's true so let's just accept it and get on with doing the reading.

Funnily enough this truth came home to me quite forcibly in my recent purchase of Joe Hill's excellent The Fireman. (Now about a third of the way in and as complete a fan of the son as I am of the father.) There were two editions available in the bookshop and I went for the cheaper looking, more American-looking paperback, a bit like one of those old cheapo cheapo Signet editions of the classics, though I think the editions were the same price. Somehow this kind of paperback is just right for unpretentious genre fiction - and when you realise the level of writing is as 'literary' as that of the stuff you're supposed to find more respectable that just adds to the pleasure in some weird way.

Anyway, I'm off to cuddle up with that particularly good book, so it's goodnight for now.

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