Friday, January 8, 2010

Book Lust

I must admit, I'm uselessly addicted to the book as object. I mean, I'm obviously addicted to the book as provider of content. That's a given. But I realize, more and more, that I'm totally bonzo for actual books. For specific books. Not just any old Sunday afternoon tome lying around. But certain... ideal books. The books that simply call to me.

The most current object of my affection is The Forever War, by Dexter Filkins. Not the hardcover, mind you. Trade paperback. It's specific, this book lust. Yes, I really want to read the book for its contents (which are supposed to be brilliant). But I love this book. Trade paperback. The dusty, orangeish glow of the cover. The gloss of it, the texture of it, the weight of it. The perfect feel of the pages, the paper so perfectly chosen. The font, the design. Just the way it feels in my hand. Just the balance of it, the perfect amount of give and bend to the pages. It invites me in. Calls me in.

I think this is what I'll miss when the Ebook Overlords take over. The content will be there. But where the book lust? How do I glory in the pages if there are no pages?

The Forever War. Yes. Okay, yes, I can get it at the library. And probably will. (Got no money) But... but... but... I want the book. I want it as a thing for my shelf. I want it as a piece of my house, a piece of myself. I'm greedy for it. Unashamedly so! A proud greed. Mine, mine, mine!

So who's with me? Book lust, anyone? What's a book you had to have? Reading wasn't enough. Had to slip that book under your coat and make a bolt for the door...


Deb Salisbury said...

Oh yes! I've paid more than I could afford just to have certain books. Now I stay out of the bookstore altogether - my last paycheck is a dusty memory. But I lust for other books ...

Deb@RGRamblings said...

I just finished "The Transformation" by Catherine Chidgey. I had trouble getting into it the first time, but I kept it to try again - because I love the cover.

I don't even like orange as a rule, so I'm not sure what the big attraction is. I'm thinking about removing the book jacket and framing it, and then passing the naked book along to another reader.

Would that be wrong? :)

Ink said...

Lol, frame the cover, by all means!

Ink said...

And that is a striking cover...

Donna Hole said...

I was given a $25 gift certificate to B & N. Naturally, I spent over $60.

But, it was less than that with the gift, right.

I bought Terry Goodkind's LAW OF NINES, Nicholas Sparks THE CHOICE, and James Patterson's YOU'VE BEEN WARNED on the discount rack for about $7 each. Hard back. The other $30?

Jenifer McMahon PROMISE NOT TO TELL, and Jodi Picoult HANDLE WITH CARE.

OK; I could never buy a Jodi Picoult or Terry Goodkind off an e-reader. I need the book. I can buy it cheap months or years after the original publication; but I have to hold the book in my hands. Same for Stephen King, Dean Koonts, Sandra Brown, a few others. My book buying days are not over - once I get my hands on an e-reader. Yeah; I have a book buying lust

Disposable books - one's I read but didn't really feel a distinct love for, will be deleted from the e-reader to make room for more when something else comes along if the memory is overwhelmed. Books I love though, will always have a place on my shelf. I love to see their pretty spines, the covers, to read the synopsis blurbs. Something I can pack around, or point to and say: "Yeah, I read all those!"

I want an e-reader - yeah, probably be a Kindle - but I just can't see me giving up my bragging library.

I've asked other people at my day job if they would ever stop buying books and they say No, there's always room for favorites on the actual book shelf. If they read it on-line and like it a lot they'll still buy the paper novel. So, really, maybe the e-readers are getting people to purchase hard copy novels they nover would have read before because of the ease of buying.

Maybe, the e-reader doesn't signify the end of the paper novel, but a whole new resource of book buyers. Ones who never would have read the paper novel if they hadn't downloaded it for $1.99 first.

Just my opinion.

The book I had to have? Anne McCaffery's DRAGON RIDERS OF PERN; Stephen R Donaldson's CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT II; Stephen King's DARK TOWER IV and on; Harry Potter IV, and on; Terry Goodkind TEMPLE OF THE WINDS, and every one after. Once I start a series, I have to have the next one, no matter how expensive. Well; maybe I won't buy the hard cover if I know the paperback is only a couple months behind and fits better in my budget.

I'm a book lover. A dying dinosaur, I know. Maybe only writers feel this lust of books - or maybe librarians also - but you're not alone Ink. Books, books, book; I love the feel, smell, readability.

Doesn't mean I won't publish in e-format if the opportunity presents itself for some cash; but I'll feel guilty and hate my contribution to the demise of the printed novel while I spend the payoff.

Hey; gotta make a buck out of this writer's fantasy somehow, right? I'm with you in sentiment bro.


Oh: word verif: dirty. Yep; dirty, bookstealing e-readers. Oops, the battery on my (wish, wish) Kindle is going dead! Gotta charge it up.

Matilda McCloud said...

I've had an e-reader for about a month (no, I didn't buy it). It was great when I was sick over the holidays and couldn't get out of the house, but now I'm back to books. When you finish a book on an e-reader, you have this weird sort of feeling, like huh? Now what? You can't really share it, can't put it on your shelf. Actually after having an e-reader, I'm more optimistic about book publishing. SOme people will end up doing all their reading on e-readers, but I doubt most people will. After a while, you get tired of pushing those damn buttons!!

Ink said...

Hey, there's hope for paper yet! Now I'm happy. :)

Jake Barnard said...

I am going to have to agree... there is a reason I don't have an ebook reader yet. I just love having a paper copy.

Amusingly enough, just did a similar post myself explaining my book storage problem :)

I tend to get a lot of books, since if I like it I want to have a physical copy.

The Pollinatrix said...

My book lust has developed into the odd ability to judge when a book was published by smelling it. I'm usually accurate within five years.

All Adither said...

I think there are enough of us that books won't go away.

Disgruntled Bear said...

I love having the actual book. Weirdly, I just had my own copy of FOREVER WAR in my hand yesterday. I love seeing the spines lined up on my shelves. I see them like trophies, or pictures of old friends.

Trophies of old friends?

Ink said...

A whole row of stuffed and mounted friends... talk about a conversation piece.