Floor-to-Ceiling Bookshelves

Todd sent me an article the other day that he said I might like. The article talked about book covers, and how they are an endangered art, an identifying mark that will soon only be visible as a thumbnail logo on the i-Pad or Kindle. The article talked about books reverently, but honestly, admitting that sooner or later, people may have electronic devices full of “books,” but shelves of books may be few and far between.

What a sad thought! Books have been and always will be an important part of my life. When I pick up a favorite book, even turning to the middle to read just a single paragraph again, I feel what I felt the first time I read it. I hear the music I was listening to at the time, my own soundtrack to the book. I slip back into that world, if only for a second, and great the characters like long-lost friends.

I need to hold a book in my hand as I read it to experience it properly. The papery, inky smell wafting out from the spine, pages flicking by as my eyes race to take it all in. I mean, curling up with coffee and a book on a Saturday morning is pretty much the best thing ever, but curling up with coffee and a Kindle? Ummm…negative, Ghost Rider.

My goal in life is to have a room filled with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. I will settle for one wall, but I really want every inch of the every wall to be covered in books. And I want an old-timey rolly-ladder, like in libraries in big universities, such as Oxford or Cambridge (neither of which I’ve ever been to, sadly).

I want my children someday to find the magic in books like I did as a kid. I want them to love the touch of a book in their hand, to feel excitement when they stand in front of a bookcase, knowing that a brilliant adventure will spring out of whichever book they choose.

I will have my floor-to-ceiling bookcases. I will share my love of reading with my children. And I will refuse to embrace technology when it interferes with my love affair with books.

Photo from: Zokk Furniture

Photo from: Teeny Blessings

Photo from: MarthaStewart.com

Photo from: Classicly Amber

Or, I could just live here, in this Oxford library. Isn’t it just divine?

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0 thoughts on “Floor-to-Ceiling Bookshelves

  1. Jesslinn

    YAY for BOOKS! Screw that Kindle crap! It only serves to provide a cold, hard, false alternative to tangible amazingness. It would be like hugging a robot. No thank you. 🙂 I love you and your love for books!

  2. Once_a_King

    Come over to the dark side. I am your father, Luke . . . uh, I mean Wendy. Resistance is futile.

    A few observations.

    TV was going to make radio — and even movies! — obsolete. But it didn’t.

    The Internet was going to drive newspapers out of business. But it didn’t . . . uh, then again, maybe that finally *is* happening.

    CD’s were going to obsolete vinyl. Well, mostly that has happened too, but there are some vinyl holdouts — but very few new releases. AND! Digital is now in the process of killing CD’s!

    I remember when computers first came out. I couldn’t edit text just on the screen — I had to print-out and mark-up, then correct on screen. When was the last time I did that? I’m used to all-screen editing now.

    A HUGE advantage of electronic books is the ability to instantaneously change the print size! I recently tried to read a favorite decades-old paperback novel of mine — the “Last of the Wine” about the ancient war between Athens and Sparta. Gee, did I actually once read that with its itty-bitty type on itty-bitty pages? Reading glasses and ten inches from my face and it still was barely readable. It was almost claustrophobic, like looking into a tunnel. I had to check the hardback out of the library! But I love that old paperback. I remember when I read it and it will always be a cherished part of my collection.

    And that’s another thing. Old Classic book collections are always hardbacks — and true devotees of best sellers do seem not to mind paying $25.00 — and more! — for the first release books. But my book collection, and probably yours, consists largely of paperbacks. Not quite as romantic, but I do love the colorful covers. I always lose hardback dust jackets.

    Books on Kindle are CHEAP at $9.00, and will get cheaper — but mostly I go to the library for my new read-of-the-month. Will there be free Kindle libraries? Probably not — that already exists, sort of, but it is directories of old public domain stuff, not new releases and such. And where can you go the to the musty “pre-owned” Kindle downloads store?

    Do you have several thousand photographs under your bed and in your closet like Mom and I do? Will you ever? Where ARE all those photographs you take every weekend — and aren’t your developing costs astronomical?

    Well, there are a few contradictory observations on both sides of the issue so let me make some serious comments.

    There is no doubt that for those who are buying books all the time, like best sellers and such, their collections will increasingly be electronic. Once they get used to screen-only (like I had to for writing) the storage size and lesser cost will be a big winner. (Also, all-electronic will become a GREAT boon for college textbooks, don’t you think? But, then again, how do you buy a cheap used copy?)

    But just like we still have radio and movies books will never go away entirely.

    And we will keep our beloved collection of books, but will they increasingly become anachronisms? I’m not sure. All know is I love mine like you love yours.

    And I know I think books are sacrosanct — it is almost impossible for me to throw away ANY book — no matter how obsolete, no matter how unlikely anyone will ever read it again, even if donated to, like, a school or church library, or Goodwill.

    When we had to clear out Pa’s library (you would love it — three whole walls of of books!) there were 50 year old textbooks of no value whatsoever, but how could you just throw a book away? We had some real dilemmas there. (I can’t throw away albums or 45’s either — although I upgrade to digital when I can.)

    But there will always be a place for real books, at least in our lifetimes I am sure.

    First, many will prefer books, just the way they use them now, for a long time.

    Second, the use of books for targeted gifts will not go way. Can you imagine getting a gift card that says ” ‘Passion in the Pyrenees,’ Kindle version, is available for your download at http://www.cheapebooks.com/passion_in_the_pyrenees“? Naah!

    Third, can you imagine saying “Come here, little Jimmy, sit on my lap and we will read your favorite book together, ‘Runaway Bunny,’ right here on Mommy’s Kindle”? Double naah!

    So, our books are forever, and our collections are forever. We will haul them with us wherever we go. And the actual physical book itself will never completely leave us. But text information of all kinds, including books, will become increasingly digital as time goes by.

    PS Another interesting side note — I sold my old physical 50-year-old 500-pound 80-play jukebox when I could easily put hundreds of songs on my computer. Didn’t need it anymore. But I sold it to a guy who APPRECIATED that he could restore it to near-new condition, touch its textured surfaces, and put actual vinyl 45’s in and watch the change-mechanism select them. There will always be a place for that and I sold it to the right person who put hundreds of loving hours into restoring it. (I helped him fix the mechanism.) Now he feels about that jukebox like we feel about our walls of books.

  3. Once_a_King

    LOL! I totally made up the name http://www.cheapebooks.com and the blog software hyperlinked it.

    So I clicked on the hyperlink and . . .

    There really is a http://www.cheapebooks.com! I guess the name was just too obvious!

    And — gag! — their landing page promo picture is not an iPad or a Kindle — but one of those do-all little iPhone type devices! Well, at least you can, like I said, adjust the print size!

    (Now I will have to actually write “Passion in the Pyrenees,” I guess.)

    “Broad brimmed hat pulled seductively low over her eyes. Ruby red lipstick. Cigarette hanging languidly out of the corner of her mouth. Just one look and I knew that my life was about change to forever. . . “

  4. Mom

    I guess you, probably, know this, but I’ve saved every early childhood book that you loved. So, in case actual children’s books start becoming obsolete (well, maybe they will be only electronic for your grandchildren) you’ll have something to show your kids or grandkids. One of your childhood memories that I wish I could relive is one of our many trips to the Gainesville library with an umbrella stroller full of books as we leave. Libraries are my happy place!

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