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This is one of the best articles on books that I’ve read in a long time, and I’ve gone back to it several times over the last month because I’ve been trying to decide when it was appropriate to share it with you, dear readers. The writer of the article, Tom Nissley, writes that e-Books may indeed have their place in the future, and that he hopes that the influence of paper books not be forgotten. “I don’t mean to make a fetish out of printed books, and I’m not asking to burn (or delete) ebooks, or their devices. Maybe all I ask is that digital books be designed in ways that give them character, that help them live and survive individually in your mind, rather than being translated into a common, anonymous display that passes through your memory as quickly as you scroll.” He concludes with a wonderful statement on the printed book. “And as for physical books: I’d just like them to survive, or at least be remembered, and not just as the playthings of a child.”

In the continued spirit of sharing, here’s another article for you. This one concerns the ability of a character in a book being able to modify your life. How often have you read a book and found one of the characters so intriguing, so influential, that you wanted to be more like him or her? Which characters have proven to have the most impact on you? Why do you think that is?

The last share of the day is this. How many of you have ever had the chance to watch a book being printed? Now you have. Sit back, watch the movie. It’s under two minutes, but it’s one of the most beautiful pieces of film that I’ve ever seen.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to try to write a horror story or two.

6 Comments

  1. I’m in agreement with that first link for sure. I like my nook, and I use it for convenience, but there’s something special about the feel of a paper book, the smell of it, and I have a visual memory of things like font changes that the author uses, and I remember quotes as having a particular location on the page. I for one will never let my paper books languish. My kids will hold them, caress them, dog-ear the pages, get them sticky, scribble on them, whatever, just like I did as a kid. I still have favorite picture books with stickers on the covers.

    As for getting inside the head of my favorite characters, I’ve done that since I was a child, and even followed the writer’s embarrassing example and imitated their manner of speech. I spoke in my attempt at Shakespearean prose, I emulated the high, epic style of Tolkien, and I tend to cuss a lot more after reading someone like Kevin Smith.

    My books are an integral part of my life, and I can’t imagine being without them.

    • Indeed. I plan to continue to amass my personal library. I think that books are the greatest physical possession.

  2. The third link was very cool! I had no idea such work went into printing a single book. But that process must have been streamlined in the past few years, what with all these Print On Demand companies springing up, right?

    • The video just shows how one small company still produces books in a more traditional fashion. Print on demand services will, as a general rule, not give you nearly the quality that you see there.

      • Yeah, I can definitely see the difference just by picking up books on my shelf. I have a few POD books, and it looks like the printers just took the entire stack of pages, ran a strip of hot glue down the side, and stuck a cover on. Perfectly functional as a book, but not exactly a work of art 🙂

        • Yup. It’s a great way to get your stuff out there, though, and some people have been lucky enough to catch the attention of a big publisher through an initially self-published project.


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