Monday, 18 February 2013

Re-kindle-ing my love for books

I am a bit of a Luddite.  
It might due to laziness, apathy, or age 
but my eyes glaze over when chattering about the latest gadget.

I still have the original iPhone - 
only because my brother gave me his one when he upgraded.  
Otherwise, I was quite happy with my Nokia.

RIP Nokia - you were a good phone and we had great chats.
He is also the one who ushered me into the world of the iPad.
He recently bought me a kindle for Christmas 
so I would "keep up".

He attempts to be my digital pulse on the world.

I like the kindle - for the obvious reasons.
Quite handy.  
I won't regurgitate the technical positives because 
to be fair I only heard blah blah blah.

But I am still torn.  
I can't yet still promote it and endorse it wholeheartedly.

God forbid I lose it but I still wouldn't fret about it and 
go and replace it in a hurry.  

I am sure I would have been guilty of rolling my eyes when the printing press first came out.
I would have made sure everyone knew that no one could manufacture books better than the Benedictine monks.  
Funnily enough, I still wouldn't be wrong...

Image via
How beautiful is that?

It must be something primal in me -
 maybe I want to own something physically.

But like most people, I love the tactility of books.  
I like the turned pages at the corner.  
I like seeing the scribbles on the side. 
I like finding autumn leaves pressed between the pages.
There's a subplot within the covers of the books. 

This books smells of cigars.

His scribbles about what was read for what. Looks like he had to retake his exams!
 As if Milton didn't give him enough angst.
 Perhaps that is why I like old and vintage books so much.  
I love seeing the dedications in the front and the 
messages of people more than a century ago.

I love the social history you learn from the details.

In the original French edition

When Liverpool was economically a powerhouse, 
there was a market for French books. 
This book smells of so many things. 

But it would, it's more than a 100 years old.
If the kindle gets old - you gotta upload or download again - whichever one and if it breaks, well, it is broken.

If you're lucky, you can claim on insurance.  Have fun chatting with the claims agent...
But even the damage on a book is rather beautiful. 
I prefer to call it patina. 
I doubt the kindle cultivates a patina as it gets older. 
It just breaks or becomes as outmoded as soon as it comes out.

Even though this book was slightly damaged, I couldn't resist buying it.

I am worried about the erosion but if it gets worse, I will take it to a book "doctor".
Now I am not advocating getting rid of kindles and 
forgive me my sentimentality towards books.

(Some of you may be yelling at my flat attitude about the kindle through the computer screens.)

Perhaps this makes up for what I lack in other "virtues" like patriotism and conventional traditionalism.

But I love books.  

You see, I not only read books but I decorate with books.

I collect books.

I even have books about books in the home.

I ultimately worry that eventually books will disappear.
Then I might become one of those people 
who collect Georgian snuff boxes - a la Miss Havisham. 

Because then I will be a really kooky woman who collects anachronistic items - I already shout at the telly.

But I also think the warmth of my house might disappear.

I like walking past my books, 
sometimes I like simply looking at them.
( Easily amused I am...)

Let me put it this way, I like certain parts of my house.

Books have a lot to do with that so I would feel empty, 
so would my shelves.

My mini book case at present.

If books were to disappear and only kindles to remain.

My other book shelf in my living room.

                 Negative space would take on a whole new meaning.

Would you give up books completely if you were guaranteed 
a lifetime supply of kindles?

I think you know my answer.


  1. i'm a book person myself - i can't read on a 'device' - i like to write in notes and fold the pages - etc

  2. I've tried the kindle but I end up ordering the book anyway.

  3. I used to get made fun of because I was the last person on the planet to finally get texting. 2010, maybe?

    Your brother sounds like my husband! You're bound to feel behind when you're spending most of your time with a programmer, ha. I'm like Beth...I tried the Kindle once and didn't finish the book. I think I just need to try using it more.

  4. Ha ha your brother sounds great! Is he single? Ha ha ha just kidding!!

    Ali of

  5. I LOVE the book vs. kindle decor shots.:D I'm not an avid fan of kindle either, it's... I don't know. It's a frigging screen. Why would you want to stare at a screen if you can look at a book. But I guess it does come in handy when you're going on a trip and you can load multiple books on it and still pack lightly.

  6. I LOVE old books too, my shelves are filled with my collections of we go again, You & me Naomi! I do read a bit on my ipad, especially convenient for travel...u have book & computer all in one.

  7. Books make a house a home.

    My mother is now the keeper of many boxes of her ancestors love letters.

    My husband and I have saved the few we wrote to each other.

    Our children will not have copies of the texts they write to their true loves.

    Your Kindle shelves are empty and cold - Love texts and emails are too.

    Let's collect books AND write letters! :-)

  8. I am the same! I don't feel any attachment whatsoever to my phone, it's a means to an end. I do love my books though, for all those reasons you wrote about. I have personalised book plates for all my children's books, and write dedications in them for Birthdays and Christmases. I also own that book you have on living with books too!! My older sister was trying to convince the entire family to get rid of their books and buy them for the kindle instead (as she has done). No thanks. Books add atmosphere, a kindle sure doesn't. Not to mention that I do tend to judge when I go into a home with no books. It depresses me! xx

  9. It appears you have the same fetish for books as I do for shoes - one more unhealthy than the other of course.

    I'm not an avid book reader but I do sit on the train sometimes, watching these fellow travelers using their Kindle thinking how can that be more pleasurable than the actual feel of a book.

    I tend to read science books for my work and there is no way (even if I was given a Kindle for free - screens are for working at and watching films/programmes) that I would exchange my book for a Kindle, but then I am someone that doesn't own any gadget starting with an I, and similar to you was quite content with her Ericsson!

  10. Hi guys, I am so pleasantly surprised to hear there are more book fans that I realise!

    @Ali - too funny - no he isn't but I will let you know if he is!

    @Peet - yes you are right that is the real feature isnt it?

    @mysoulfulhome i would love to see your collection on a future post on your blog

    @linda - old love letters - i write notes all the time - still have stationary sets! we gotta keep it alive ok? ;)

    @Heidi - i love book plates also - i stopped doing it though but you have reminded me I should get some book plates made...

    @colleeen - I had a feeling you were a shoe girl

  11. I am a total bookworm! Reading at least five at the same time, or ongoing...
    So nice to read this post, and to see lovely photos of your home! xo Caroline


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