Thursday, August 19, 2010

An Old Book is a Treasure

Last night I watched 'The Scarlet Letter'. This movie brought me to tears.
On my bookshelf I have an old copy of this novel. It is one in a collection of several editions of famous writers works passed down to my husband from his grandfather's collection of books. It is a hardcover, with a blue jeweled binding. The pages are yellowed. And there is a scent that only old books can have...that musty smell of dust, age, old paper and ink.

There is so much buzz about digital books these days. I think they have their place, but to me they will never replace something I can hold in my hands. Hardcovers are special to me, and I tend to hold on to them longest. I wish publishers would return to the hardcover in trade paperback size, you know the kind your parents and grandparents read.

On my self I have books that belonged to my grandparents, my husband's grandfather, and four novels that my father owned as a boy.
Treasure Island
Battle for the Union
The Washington Boys
Tom Sawyer

These volumes will be passed down to my sons, and hopefully their children. I don't think I can do that with a digital book. I can pass down my print copies of the books I write. But who knows what the future holds? Maybe there will be a way were digital books will be archived. Still they will not be able to replace the original, material, the tangible.

What is your opinion about digital books, old books, print books? Do you have any treasures passed down to you sitting on your bookshelf?

(Image of books by John C. Hulse)


Jan Cline said...

I love love the feel, smell and looks of books! I dont plan on ever using digital books, I love holding the book in my hands. I do have a few old books given to me. One is a book of devotions copyright 1943, and my mother's old Medical Dictionary from nursing school copyright 1937. I treasure them both.

Annette said...

I do all of the above: I have a Kindle that I read a newspaper and books on, I read paperbacks and hardbacks, magazines and newspapers.
I will never completely stop buying books, but there are things about my Kindle that I love.
I have an antique school book collection. I started collecting classic children books a few years ago and I'm glad because my 7 year old granddaughter loves books.
I love the feel of holding books and turning the pages, I love illustrations, I love collecting books. But it is the words and phrases, nouns and verbs that I love the most.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

I agree with you. Nothing compares to holding a real book in your hands.

I have my first Bible, which my grandfather gave me as a child. Unfortunately, most of my early books are gone.

Susan :)