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Friday, June 6, 2014

Small Celebrations - June 6, 2014

Welcome to Friday and the weekly blog that Vikki at VikLit thought of well over a year ago.  It is a way we pause to celebrate the small things that together make our lives richer.  Reading the posts over the months will open your eyes to the many, many ways we touch delight and celebrate it.  The hop is still open if you want to join, and it has drawn a wonderful group that posts, remembers, celebrates and just generally supports and cheers you on.
.here are lovely people involved in posting, remembering, celebrating and being just generally awesome - rather like yourself, don't you think?

The information on the hop is below.  Why don't you join?  Or, at least, visit the various posts and smile.
...And today I am celebrating...Books!

I just ordered two books yesterday.  One of them is to replace a book that I had, that was lost during four moves.  It is a sourcebook and a picture book (don't get me started on picture books...)  It is a collection of aerial photos of Paris, taken from close(r) to the ground.  This was done after years of negotiating with the French government, which does not allow flyovers.  One day was granted, and this book resulted. 

It was very useful, since I could visualize the buildings, see the terrain.  Besides, I loved my visit to Paris, and if I ever win a lottery or inherit an emerald mine, I will go back and stay a year in an apartment near the Pont Neuf with three - count 'em! -bathrooms complete with soaking tubs.
I ordered another book on Paris (I'm writing a story set there), and since it's about urban planning (it is not polite to yawn), it should be good.  Besides, the sample I read rather thoroughly is beautifully written.

I ordered both of these in 'hard copy'.  The first is a hardback.  It's an oversized book, and they don't do well in softcover.  The other is a paperback. 

I never got over my love for books.  The things you hold in your hands, the fresh pages that smell of ink or, if they are older, of library dust.  The dog-eared pages, the notes in the margin (mine), the tucked-in bookmarks that can be anything from a magazine advert cut out because it's pretty or a receipt from some lunch enjoyed years ago.

I have an e-reader.  A Kindle Fire.  I bought my first Kindle under protest because while I am not a Luddite by any means, I don't like to deal with something that might conk out in the middle of a page leaving me glaring at my reflection in a black screen and screeching "What is the matter with this blasted thing???  It's gone black!  Gah!"  My friends and loved ones informing me in tones of sweet reason that shaking the thing isn't going to help, nor is blunting the blade of the Navy cutlass willed to me by my father.

(I wouldn't have done it anyhow.  I like the thing.  The cutlass, that is).  I will say that my review and corrections are being done, preliminarily, on my uploaded MS using the Fire.

But books have a feel, a sense of completeness.  If I hold my volume of Treasure Island (Stevenson) in my hands, I have a sense of holding the entire adventure between my two palms.  Jim Hawkins, Long John Silver (one of the most chilling villains I've encountered - and you never suspect him till the end), the parrot, Captain Flint, Captain Alexander Smollet, and the plague-ridden island.

You can hold a book, linger over it.  If you're in the right place you can nearly bathe in it:

My library, such as it is, is not quite as palatial as this one, but the idea is the same.  I do have to dust it.  At least it is not as chaotic as this one:
Actually, that one might have a few too many books, and I'd be afraid that the shelves might come down.

Books are tangible in a way the electronic readers are not.  You can hold them, smell them...  Though I suppose that if an e-reader exploded there would certainly be a smell...
You can mark them up.  (My ms is marked up.  Little yellow squares with little blue boxes.  If I click on them successfully, up come my notes.  they *are* handy, but oh so unromantic.  Rather like emails instead of handwritten letters.  Written in fountain pen.  I am told, though, that my letters are eternal because they are hard to read.

But I digress.  I do like the fact that I can indulge my terror of being left without something to read but not wanting to do damage to my spine by trundling along a suitcase full of books simply by bringing my e-reader.  They have their uses...

This poem expresses it well:
“Who hath a book

The parking garage for the Kansas City public library
Hath friends at hand,
And gold and gear
At his command;
And rich estates,
If he but look,
Are held by him
Who hath a book.

"Who hath a book
Hath but to read
And he may be
A king, indeed.
His kingdom is
His inglenook-
All this is his
Who hath a book.”  

― Wilbur D. Nesbit


  1. Is that really the Kansas City Public Library?! SOO AWESOME! I love my books, and have also reordered when one is missing, or I lent to a friend who never returned. Have a great weekend, Diana!

  2. Buying new books is always something to celebrate! :)

  3. We share some of the same feelings about books and Kindles...but lately, I gotta say my Kindle wins just by the fact that I have SO many more books than I would if I had to pay for the physical book. Then of course there's the having your whole library with you, that you DON'T have to dust ;-)
    Thanks for co-hosting!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

  4. Definitely love printed books...was given an eReader as a gift once, and have never used it! (Although oddly enough, I'm the eBook expert at my library). I admit I actually own reading copies and viewing copies for a number of books, and I think both versions of them are fantastic in their own way, =)

  5. I love books, and I see no reason at all to get over that! I read ebooks, but I will always choose a printed book if I have the option. I just love holding an actual printed book in my hands. I also have a ritual where I have to smell the book before I read it. My husband thinks I'm weird. I once convinced him to smell a book so he could understand the thrill. He still doesn't get it. Oh well!

  6. Books are the absolute best things to celebrate!

  7. I don't blame you for celebrating your special books! I agree is isn't the same cuddling up to a Kindle book. Cherishing your books is always something to celebrate.

  8. New books are always cause for celebration. Even though I love having a Kindle on my phone so I'm never without a book, it doesn't take the place of a real book with real pages to turn.

  9. Here's to you inheriting an emerald mine so you can fulfill your dream. Buying books, any and all kinds (even boring to me ones - lol) is a good thing.

  10. I have a Kindle as well, but like you, I much prefer physical books when I'm reading. :)

  11. Kindles are practical and handy but no, you can't beat a real book. It just seems to have more substance! Enjoy your Parisian research.

  12. Hi Diana .. I like you - prefer books .. but I do have a Kindle and must get my days organised so I can read more .. love the garage in Kansas ...

    Cheers Hilary

  13. I love reading paper books, but I've started doing the vast majority of my reading on the treadmill. With a Kindle, you can enlarge the font and it's really easy to turn pages. With a book, you have to try to get it to stay open enough to read it and it's almost impossible to see on that stand. So I'm pretty much a Kindle convert now!

  14. YAY BOOKS! Your library, BTW, looks amazing :)

    I just started reading ebooks on my little Android tablet. I love the convenience, but I really, really miss holding the actual book. It's a pain in the butt to flip back and find something you want to reread or check, and the percentage complete isn't close to satisfying. Sigh. It's the future, I know, but I like the past.