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What am I collecting?

December 19, 2015

library“Books breathe as trees breathe. When all the books have gone our mental climate will have changed. It’s a question whether we’ll survive. Technology cannot replace a book. No matter that I can quickly find a digital version of a novel I’m looking for, I still fly into a rage when I discover I no longer have it, and remember who borrowed and didn’t return it, five, 10, 20 years ago. For it is irreplaceable. It has my scribblings in it. The marginal expletives. The turned-down pages. The bus ticket or taxi receipt or even billet doux employed as a bookmark – not just the marginalia of an intellectual life but the detritus of the heart. And that you don’t get on a Kindle, or a free e-book courtesy of Project Gutenberg. What you can’t bend or throw or write on isn’t, in the end, literature.”

Howard Jacobson. More at BBC

From Bookshelf

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