Thursday, February 11, 2010
On behalf of old books
While some of the books are still in print, I use Amazon credit to purchase old hardbacks which are at least in "good" condition, always check the book section of thrift shops, and the "Old Books" table at the library sales.
There is something about the romance of an old book which makes me wonder who read it and loved it at an earlier time. A couple of the Goudge books I read had the uneven pages representative of quite old books. The older I get, the more I have learned to value imperfections... especially in this cookie cutter world.
I have mentioned long ago hearing an interview given by two book collectors (as in real collectors who spend more than $5.00 or $10.00 as I do). They said their most asked question, when someone walks into their home and sees all those books, is "Have you read all of them?".
They both look appalled at such a question for obviously the questioner does not understand the collecting at all... for it is not in reading all the books that there is value but just having the books available... the knowing that at any time they may take the book off the shelf, retreat to their favorite reading place... and enjoy. For both of the men, it was in the collecting they found joy and not what the book may be worth at a later date.
Old books have character, much like looking in the face of a kind, elderly person and having the realization the wrinkles have a story all their own. They have a beauty when lined up on the next to each other on home and library shelves.
There is an instant camaraderie when one old book lover meets another. One will gaze at the library of their companion and give a knowing nod as words are not necessary (even among people who love words). This person understands and no explanation is needed.
I'm not sure one is born loving old books although one can rub off on children and grandchildren. When I was quite young, I was more interested in the latest Nancy Drew book and all that was shiny and new (not coming from a bookish family). Old books became more important as I read through the years. I suppose if I had grown up with a home library, appreciation would have come earlier.
On my coffee table in the living room is the old library copy of The Scent of Water. This third round of antibiotics knocked me out so much I had trouble reading (gasp!). I'm hoping today will be better and I can finally read this book and then my "month of Edith Schaeffer"... half way through the month. As my friend, Cheryl (Coppers Wife), says... hold onto your plans loosely.
Your prayers are appreciated. A serious infection is hard to beat for any diabetic and especially for one who is a Type 1 Diabetic (as blood sugars are even harder to control when ill and the high blood sugars feed the infection). As I lay on the sofa with only a couple of "good" hours each day, I remind myself this medication is to kill the infection and not moi'. :)
Picture: Stephanie reading to David (my Hobbit) and Faith (my Tigger)