4 Reasons to Preserve Antique Books

From my personal collection: Lives of the Queens of England by Agnes Strickland, circa 1845.

From my personal collection: Lives of the Queens of England by Agnes Strickland, circa 1845.

I love books! Actually, a more accurate word might be treasure.
I treasure books, so much, that on the rare occasion when I lend a beloved book, said borrower receives a charmingly delivered threat on their life if said book should be damaged whilst in their possession.

The sight of torn pages and a battered spine makes me want to cry, especially when it’s an old book. Antique books ought to be treasured so they last for future generations.

But Angela, you say, why bother saving old, musty books with their contrived language and outdated narrative style?

First of all, if you cannot appreciate the studious perfume that is the scent of old books, then I legitimately pity your nose. Secondly, I present for your consideration . . .

4 Reasons to Preserve Antique Books.

1. For the History
Antique books are time capsules through which we can remember our history. Not simply remember, but experience and understand historical facts from a human point of view. Without Oliver Twist could we truly understand the hardships an orphaned child faced in 19th century London? We might read the statistics, but Dickens’ words give those statistics a name and elicit feeling. His “out-dated” prose makes us care about history. A triumph which does not fade though its pages yellow. Continue reading

8 Fabulous Things About Books that E-readers Lack

Books with RoseLet me begin with a disclaimer—I am not anti-Kindle.

I admit freely to having read several e-books on my iPhone. Indeed, I understand the appeal of e-books. They can be purchased and downloaded instantly. They take up zero physical space and therefore save many a book-lovers’ home from becoming cluttered. And sometimes, they are even less expensive.

No, I’m not here to bash high-tech users of e-readers. Rather, I am, in a fashion, one of them. I consider myself a hybrid reader, dabbling in books and e-books alike.

However, I will never give up my bookshelves, bookends, or bookmarks. I will never completely forsake physical, real, honest-to-goodness, hold-in-your-hands books.

For books, with their pages and ink, will always be my first love. And nothing shall ever convince me that e-books are superior to their paper counterparts. E-books are all well and good and have their place. Yet it must be admitted, by even the most modern tech-savvy of persons, that there are some things they lack.

8 Fabulous Things About Books that E-readers Lack

1. Tactile QualityStack of Books

To read an e-book, one must hold a machine. Whether it’s a Nook or smart phone, the sense of touch is engaged only by a cold electronic device. You don’t truly hold the e-book, feel its weight. It’s a one dimensional object partitioned off by a screen. In this one dimensional reading experience, you lose the variety of tactile qualities books offer. Rich leather, soft cloth, or slick paperback binding. Braille-like embossed lettering. The thin, smooth pages of a new book. The thick, textured parchment of an antique. By engaging our sense of touch, books connect directly with the reader in a manner e-books simply cannot replicate.

2. Aroma

Unless you’re a true bibliophile, this item on my list will most assuredly leave you perplexed and thinking I’m insane. Yet, for those of us with ink printed on our hearts, the scent of a book is nothing short of magical. New books have an aroma which combines fresh cut paper and hot-off-the-press ink. While vintage and antique books have this scent which seems beyond description. Musty? Leathery? Fairy dusty? Whatever it may be, aroma takes ones reading experience beyond the second star to the right.  Continue reading