I love books.
I don't want to send the wrong message with yesterday's post. Remaindered books are not sad for the reader at all. It's just the gluttony of publishing which bothers me. I buy plenty of clothing from the clearance racks, so I guess I should get over it, huh?
At Hastings (I was a book manager in Lawrence years ago), we called them "hurt books". That was the official company title: hurt books. Hardbacks were code 51, trade paperbacks 55, mass markets, 50, and "hurt books" 54.
Sounds a little sad, doesn't it? Hurt books. They weren't wounded at all.
My wife gave me a Kindle for my birthday. I love it. I love the number of books I've been able to slap on that bad boy for a few bucks. I love changing the font size so my eyes don't strain at all. I love the built-in dictionary. I don't love the highlighter so much. (So, how do I turn off other people's highlights?)
But I love physical books, and I always will. Here's the other end of the spectrum: I've recently joined the Library of America. If you're unfamiliar, they produce high quality, durable editions of classic American literature. So far, I've received American Fantastic Tales (2-volume set), Raymond Carver: Collected Stories, and H.P. Lovecraft Tales. I'll have these books for a lifetime of reading. Poe, Shirley Jackson, Raymond Carver, and Langston Hughes are all in the queue.
There is a place for the e-reader and my love for real, tangible books, but I'm past my e-fears, folks. E-reading is here (in my life) to stay, just like those beautiful, cloth bound LoA editions.
Now, I just need a set of sweet digital bookends...