Monday, June 20, 2016

Thoughts About Books

I'll be dragging by the end of the week. It's hot and my brain won't stop whirling enough to allow me to sleep with ease. It's unusual - both in the heat and in my inability to get quality sleep time, but the fact that I do or don't sleep doesn't change my schedule. I'll just have to live with it.

I wish we had room for a library's worth of shelving
and books, but we live in a house, not a huge building. 

DH and I dove back into deep housecleaning yesterday, continuing the library project I had started two years ago. While he resumed cleaning up the hardcover books and years of magazines that we no longer think we need to keep (as well as lots of paperwork because we seem excellent at generating paperwork), I moved my boxes to the den and resumed entering paperback books into my book catalog. I have a lot of books still to do, but almost 1500 of them are already cataloged and boxed into a rough alpha order. Once I've got the rest of the paperbacks cataloged, we can examine the listing and choose which books we want to keep and which to sell or recycle. I want to get rid of more than half of these. I need my house back and I read e-books now, not paper.

There are so many available ways to read electronic books. I
read most of mine on my phone with either the Nook app
or the Kindle app. DH prefers to read his on his tablet. Although
a dedicated reader is still an option, it isn't necessary any more.  

I know many people who have tried e-readers of various brands and don't like them. I thoroughly understand the glorious feeling of opening a book's cover and feeling the paper beneath my fingers as I turn pages of a printed book. There is a special bond that exists between a reader and an author through the printed page. But the ability to change the size of my typeface, change the background intensity, change the typeface to one I find more readable, and, most importantly, minimize shelf space for the additional 1000+ books that I have at my fingertips in electronic form trumps the paper book for me in most instances.

Craft books such as Linda Darty's "The Art of
Enameling" are essential for me to have in
paper. Her book has been traveling with me for
the past week as I work out what I want to do
for my next major project. 

Of course there are exceptions. Crafting books, although available in e-form, are really difficult for me to work with on screen. I keep my notes and syllabi from past workshops in the pages of books that I refer to again and again when I'm trying to design a larger project. Art books - books of types of art as well as books about artistic exhibitions - need to be in print. Looking at the paintings and sculptures on a small screen doesn't resonate with me as much as on paper.

We've agreed that any physical books we buy have to be
agreed upon by both of us. I broke the rule once this
year for Alexander McQueen's amazing exhibition
catalog, but usually we agree. 

So we'll still have physical books - hundreds of them. But it is my hope that what we keep are tomes that we have vetted and that one or the other of us will feel are worth their physical presence. There will be some difficult decisions, but we'll benefit from this organization and culling in the long run. Here's hoping you're staying cool and comfortable and that you got a good night's sleep. Have a wonderful Monday.

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