Friday, July 30, 2010

The Nth Defense of Physical Books

Dear Books,
I love you all. I do. But it has occured to me that the ones of you I'm fondest of, the ones that make me happiest when I think of you taking up space in my tiny apartment, are the ones that have called to me. I bought you for no other reason than that I absolutely could not live without you. I tried. I didn't buy you the first time I saw you. But I kept thinking about you. I hadn't heard good things about you (which is, by the way, bookseller parlance for "I have never seen that book before in my life, but I cannot bear to discredit my bookseller omniscience by admitting it."), hadn't read the ARC months earlier, hadn't seen you reviewed in the NYT. There was just something about you-- the stubbly texture of your cover, your smartly deckled edges, your elegant french flaps, the sharp relief of graphic color on color. By the time I had picked you up, it was all over. Something is out there by Richard Bausch, The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton, Rat by Fernanda Eberstadt, Death is Not an Option by Suzanne Rivecca. You simply called to me. I had to answer.


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