joie de vivre-- a cheerful enjoyment of life & an exultation of spirit.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


The era of the hardcover book is slowly coming to an end; I see it every day on the subway. Kindles and iPads and Nooks-- they're everywhere. It's just scary to think just how fast the inevitable shift to digital is going to happen. And who knows what's next after that. Who knows what that magical world of books and stories that I once loved as a child is going to look and feel like down the road when I come to have children of my own.

Photo, here

It's saddens me to think how removed from the magic of a physical book each new generation is becoming. I have such fond memories from my childhood of spending hours roaming the shelves of my hometown library, gathering stacks and stacks of books to bring home. And then waiting with anxious excitement at the prospect of being able to sprawl out on my bedroom floor with my new stories around me to explore for hours on end.

And then there were those due date cards. Were they not the most wonderful thing? Gosh I used to love seeing how many times the very book I was holding had been checked out already and then relishing in the thought that for one whole week that same book was mine. All mine. I always used to wonder who the other people who had checked out my book had been. What was their story? Did they live nearby?

But no more. I've heard so much talk about how libraries and bookstores are a thing of the past. They just don't belong in this world any more. They don't make sense.

They don't belong. Imagine that.

Imagine what's next.

Long gone will be the days of children's books with pop-out 3D pictures, secret pull tabs, and finger puppets that pop through pages. Long gone will be the days of slowly smoothing out that last corner crease as you fall back into the very place you left your story last. Long gone will be the feeling of opening a book you've loved for years, seeing the stains left from coffee spills and fallen tear drops, and feeling like you've come back home to rediscover an old friend.

Imagine never growing up having that. It breaks my heart.

Here's to vowing to keep a few bookshelves full of classic favorites, wherever your life may lead, and with which you can withstand the tests of time. 

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