Sunday, April 20, 2014

Marrying Libraries: The Symbolic and Sentimental Value of Physical Books

This week's articles contained a lot of information, but they also contained a lot of feelings. People, especially writers and other bookish types, tend to have strong opinions when it comes to e-books. I personally tend to be less easily spooked than those who fear that physical books are being threatened by their e-book counterparts, but I know that the reasons for collecting books vs. e-books are vastly different, and the reading experience is only a small part of it. 

Books, at least the physical kind, have sentimental value. You can lend a well-worn copy to a friend or inscribe a special message inside one as a gift. This essay by Anne Fadiman, which appeared in her book of essays, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, illustrates the symbolic meaning of physical books on a bookshelf and what those books meant to her and her husband. 

An excerpt from the essay Marrying Libraries.

Fadiman, Anne. "Marrying Libraries," Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. 1998. 

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