Friday, May 23, 2008

The problem with books

Here's a photo of one corner of my study (The Mysterious Me will have a fit ... ). As you can see, I have a few books. And this isn't all of them. These are the ones that will fit on the shelves (and in front of the books already on the shelves). I had a clear out six months ago and got rid of 80-odd books. It felt like giving my children up to an orphanage. I can't bear to part with books.

I need a personal library, I really do. There have been a number of attempts to produce an electronic alternative - e-books and the like - and that would certainly sort out my storage problems. But they just don't work for me. I love the smell, the feel, the look of books; real paper and card booky books.

I loved vinyl. I liked the smell, the feel, the look of 12" LPs. I loved the artwork - particulary stuff by Roger Dean, Rodney Matthews and Hipgnosis. I loved carefully placing the needle and hearing the crackles as the music started. I looked for the secret messages scratched into the vinyl near the hole. I read the lyric sheets or the accompanying booklet of photos and stories. But vinyl made way for CDs which had better quality of sound, ease of storage and the facility to record. And then CDs were replaced by MP3. The quality is now better than vinyl ever was but, somewhere along the line, the music has lost a little bit of its magic and soul. Somehow, it has become more product than artform, stripped back to its bare essentials - a string of zeros and ones - digital data. You don't even get a record sleeve any more.

I hope that books don't go the same way.

I'm putting up more shelves.


Me said...

Stevyn Colgan.

Stevyn Colgan said...

You know I'm right ... OCD person!

Blog Princess G said...

I hear you mister. It's very hard to give up books in my situation too. I mean, I actually have to find the book deeply offensive to do that. The only book that has deeply offended me (The Bridges of Madison County - for being the worst piece of moronic claptrap ever written IMO - although Clint Eastwood made a lovely film out of it) remains on the bookshelf just in case I need to reference its general Godawfulness one day. Just need more shelves. But.... before that I need more walls. Hee hee.

I kept some of my vinyl... was intending to hang it as artwork for the sake of those lovely covers, but now am thinking I'll just sell them or something. Sigh.

I like the look of your bookshelves. As I said in a previous comment, they're interesting and the bits and pieces on them tell you something about the owner. :)

Stevyn Colgan said...

I suspect that what they tell you is (a) I need more shelves, (b) I need to grow up, and (c) I don't understand how dusters work.

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

I totally understand the state of these bookshelves.