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Friday, January 14, 2011

My Paper World

It will be a very sad day for me if books are not published any more. The electronic format isn't interesting to me. The electronic book is always the same.... On the one hand, technology is fantastic. On the other hand, if you have an apartment and the book shelves are empty and there's one Kindle standing there, that's depressing." – Veronica Teuber, artist, in the Wall Street Journal

Oddly, given her love for books, the artist is mummifying part of her own collection in beeswax. It’s an interesting story, an eyebrow-raising story, and you can read it here.

Meanwhile, the larger story of the future of books, with e-reader wars, the Borders financial woes and eternally springing bibliospes (book hope) continues to unfold. Last night, in that last-named spirit (yes, I named it, and no, I never studied Latin), I read the prologue and first chapter of The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Discussion, by Allison Hoover Bartlett. All that great gossip from the New York Antiquarian Book fair—okay, I’m hooked! So was the author:
As I roamed from booth to booth, I felt the sensory enticement myself—the feel of thick, rough-edged pages, the sharp beauty of type, the tightness of linen or pigskin covers, the papery smell.

Then there's the smaller picture. Here in Northport, I recently received the news that our wonderful, welcoming little Leelanau Township Library will be closed for the month of February! Help! What will winter residents do? The library has not been painted or had new carpeting for 43 years, and the Board decided it’s time, and I’m starting to wonder (I grind exceeding slow) if I’ll see more people in the bookstore next month, if only for the duration. Maybe an invitation is in order? “Drop in for a visit. Feel free to bring a sack lunch. Please leave your e-reader at home.” What do you think?

I’m having a sale these winter days on my notecards (photo on front, blank inside), dropping the price to $2 each or three for $5. There may be one of your favorite “Books in Northport” images here, or perhaps one you haven’t seen before that will capture your heart and insist on being sent to a dear friend you haven’t written to in way too long.

Words and images, images and words. It’s a big chunk of my winter world.


Dawn said...

Oh definitely send out an invite! Can you put a sign up in the library for the rest of November that people in book-withdrawal are welcome to come by your place and just read? (they'll probably buy something too...) Love the notecards. Too bad you were closed when I was staying up there last March. I'd have bought something I'm sure!

Gerry said...

There are days when I want to find a nice, flat boulder and carve some of my favorite poetry into it. Everything else seems transitory. (Is that the word I want? I want them all!)

I can see the winter denizens of the Leelanau forming a book-swap club at Dog Ears. Or reverting to a subscription library, 19th century style!

P. J. Grath said...

Dawn, November??? Get with the program, girl! Just kidding, of course--I know you know it is January, and I do the same kind of thing myself. In fact, the other day I typed "girl" instead of "bird," which would have made my response to a comment sound very strange indeed. Are you planning a visit to Northport in March this year? Any time you might be coming up, please try to let me know ahead of time so I don't miss you again.

Gerry, I want them all, too, and you've given me an idea. Maybe in February I should have an hour or two a week for writers. "Come and share what you're working on and get feedback from others." Something like that. Something more interactive than just browsing, although I want to encourage that, too.

Anonymous said...

Pamela, did I already tell you that my son (the one majoring in English) sold his kindle? It just wasn't doing it for him. Imagine that!

P. J. Grath said...

I do know people who love e-readers, but they're not for everyone. Also, I think, not for every book.

Dawn said...'s JANUARY?? Actually I'm grateful it's January...closer to May.


I was house-sitting in March and now I'm back at work, so no long vacations on my favorite lake for me. (sad sigh) but I hope to get up there sometime.

Meanwhile, a friend told me about this:

and I thought of you...the dairy of a 10 year old boy living on Mackinaw Island in 1880 is being tweeted daily, but the story "A Boy at Fort Macknac" is available in book form too.,1,4,36,398,399

info is from Pure Michigan and in case these links don't work...

P. J. Grath said...

You were house-sitting in March--2010? I'm still a little confused, Dawn, but thanks for the Mackinaw boy's diary info. Looks interesting.

Dawn said...

Yep...March 2010...for 3 weeks. It was lovely.

P. J. Grath said...

Okay, at last I've put all the pieces together, Dawn. You were house-sitting here Up North. Gotcha!