Friday, February 2, 2007

A Book Fetish

This post might not mean much to those of you whose mental DNA was not forged in the public library. But if yours was... look at this gorgeous thing!

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I wanted to reread Rebecca this summer and found this copy at the Tompkins County Public Library. It looks like it's over fifty years old, and has been read maybe 300 times. (In fact, according to Wikipedia: "Though literary critics have often berated Du Maurier's writings for not being 'intellectually heavyweight' ... for several decades she was the number one author for library book borrowings.")

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Look at how carefully this book was maintained over the years -- the cloth tape at the binding, the later plastic tape at the edges.

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Great first line: "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." The bottom of the page is practically worn out from all those thumbs holding it.

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There's a wonderful soft/rough quality to the pages of old, well-read books. They smell good too.

I was tempted to steal this from the library -- I know they have a tendency to ditch old books, and was amazed this one survived as long as it did. But that would be wrong. It's a library book, and it needs to live out its life as one... but I thought I'd take some pictures of it.


zoe said...

Those pictures are quite lovely. good for you.

Anonymous said...

i love reading books, especially the old ones. it felt like I belong to the time it was written.

SisterRye said...

Lovely, like the keep's old soft sheets in Jennifer Egan's The Keep.

jgodsey said...

take it out, tell them you lost it and buy them a nice new shiny replacement copy. trust me they WILL throw that book out when they get around to it.