Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Sacred Object

Perhaps it's going a little to far to describe the book as sacred...but perhaps not. It is certainly a desired, fetishized, and even loved object. And the feeling of reverence that came over me when I stepped into Filoli's wood-paneled, book-filled library this weekend must be similar to what the faithful experience stepping into their church.

Which is why I have avoided talking about the Kindle on this blog. As a book-worshiper, I knew I was the wrong person to pass judgment on a piece of machinery designed to faze out the book. Thank goodness that Nicholson Baker has done the dirty work for me. In his New Yorker review of the Kindle, Baker describes "tussl[ing] with anticlimax" while perusing selections on the e-reader. Anticlimax, indeed. After staring at a screen all day, the last thing to bring me pleasure would be staring at another screen.

So, for those of you who revere the book, and reject its technological replacement, I offer you a selection of blogs dedicated to that remarkable, sacred object. But once you're done with these, I urge you to pick up an actual book. Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby.

1. Book By Its Cover: Illustrator and designer Julia Rothman's collection of art books and unique bound objects

2. Awful Library Books: Books of questionable value still in circulation, curated by librarians Mary and Holly

3. Forgotten Bookmarks: A compendium of strange things found in old books, put together by a used bookstore owner.

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