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Happy almost weekend, everyone! I don’t know about you, but this week has flown by for me, and I see a necessary slumber into late morning tomorrow… followed by mimosas.
In case you all need an excuse/reason/want to smile, I highly recommend indulging in the following book trailer for our recent release, THE BOOK OF AWESOME.
And the crazy/cool thing is, a fan created that video! Someday, I hope to have evangelical fans like that… but since I don’t do anything as cool as 1000 Awesome Things, it may be rather creepy.
I was inspired to think of some simply awesome things that I don’t appreciate enough, and came up with the following:
- When my roommate changes the hair catcher in our shower – sorry, maybe TMI, but with one shower and two girls with lots of hair, it’s a necessary plastic piece that keeps our landlord from kicking us out due to constant shower blockage. Not to say she’s usually lazy, but this task typically falls to me. Luckily we both have light colored hair, so it’s not the really gross long, dark strands (I love dark hair, but on one’s head…).
- Recognizing the bug I discovered in my bedroom was of the simple flying insect type that came in through my patio door, and not a bedbug. This is a really AWESOME thing. Though I had nightmares for two days after my extensive google image searching to make sure…
- Realizing yesterday when texting with my friend out in LA that really, there is no better place to be living and working at this point in my life than NYC!
A snippet of my little pieces of happy have been shared – I’d love for you to share your awesome things!
It appears I need to change my gmail signature from “Visit my digital book nook, obsessed over & updated regularly: http://www.novelwhore.wordpress.com”; to read more along the lines of:
“Visit my digital book nook, obsessed over regularly, but rarely updated, though every time I write I really enjoy it, so keep on visiting until it gets more exciting.”
And, like the headline suggests, I am going to re-post my article from http://www.beneaththecover.com right now, since not only does it take minimal effort since it’s already written, but I’m able to justify to myself that my blog is now updated! So, for all you readers that I really do appreciate, here’s my latest column:
What are books, exactly—treasured artifacts to be displayed behind glass, or objects to be enjoyed and devoured, like a good meal?
I know that no book I actually enjoy leaves the experience unscathed. For the lucky few that I enjoy, I’ll refer back to the content often, dog-eared pages in my wake. While stories offer escape within the language, for the books I reread I get taken back to where I was the first time, whether it be via the stains of soy sauce from unsuccessfully trying to read while enjoying sushi, or the sand that spills out as remnants of a long-forgotten vacation.
Obviously, with that description in mind, you can see that the books on my shelf may never make it into a museum exhibition of classics preserved in immaculate conditions. But what are books for if not to be loved, smelled, handled, and passed around? To me, the print medium is so important—though after lugging home a complete manuscript to read this evening (even with double-sided printing, 204 sheets is heavy!), my shoulder disagrees and would prefer a Kindle copy.
I admit that so much of my fervor for print comes from its history. I didn’t stay up past my bedtime with a computer screen under my bedspread, but a flashlight, as I stealthily flipped pages. I get a special thrill from going back to my parents’ house and seeing the children’s books I wrote my name in, using my “best hand writing” in 4th grade. While it took me a while to get to this rather obvious realization, it came with the help of journalist and author Allison Hoover Bartlett.
Her upcoming book (available from Riverhead Books next month, September 2009), The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, tracks an unrepentant book thief and the “bibliodick” determined to take him down. It’s a story of passion and addiction, and has made me compulsively check all the books sold out of boxes on the streets of NYC for rare 1st editions awaiting discovery.
In this true tale about catching a wily 1st edition book thief, books are believed to be treasures, investments, or a drug, pacifying a need. While I admit it would be nice to have that 1st edition of Gone with the Wind standing proudly on my shelf (actually, it would be behind glass, it’s so rare!), I don’t need an intact dust jacket to accompany it that’s worth far beyond the cover price. The content and history between the pages is enough for me.
And the stuff within the pages may be enough for you, too. On the publishing blog GalleyCat.com, Ron Hogan thoughtfully deciphered a recent survey from the Pepsi Optimism Project citing the “optimism booster” cited by more respondents than any other—88 percent—was “books.”
As Bartlett notes towards the end of her book, “[Books] root us in something larger than ourselves, something real. For this reason, I am sure that hardbound books will survive, even long after e-books have become popular . . . I can’t help think that our connection to books is still, after all these centuries, as important as it is intangible.
So while I may want that Kindle for the sake of my poor shoulders, I don’t think I’ll give up my search for the elusive and meaningful hardcover finds, including a Margaret Mitchell 1st edition.