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Monday, October 18, 2010

Piles of books... Wouldn't trade 'em for the world!

"I am holding books in my hands, in my lap, all day long--joyful things to behold, to hold onto--hefty and crisp. Even the uncorrected galleys have weight--the smell of paper and words.... One day I look at the pile and imagine they are all electronic books. Electronic books are eligible; it's possible I could be reading on a Kindle or a Nook or the poetically named Sony PRS-700. All this reading could be on a gray screen; I could be clicking buttons instead of turning pages. In the bookless future a few of these books predict, there would be no boxes, no piles....

"I would, of course, have gone mad, thrown the little plastic thing out the window long ago. The real glory of all these books is simply that they exist. They will endure in the world as solid things. I love the piles--the teetering, heavy, uneven piles, the cumbersome crowding of books thick and thin. These are piles of piled-up things, sculptured objects taking up room. No gray screen can honor the way font shape and space are designed to convey thought. Books inhabit the world in a way not unlike the way you and I do."

--Sallie Tisdale in her Oregonian article, "Duty as a judge for the National Book Awards requires a bit of juggling."

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