Bonkers about Books

29 01 2011

To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one  ~ Chinese Saying

My lovely fellow blogger, Papa Joe, talks about some of the pleasures of the past that we would have to search hard to find in today’s society.

As he walks us down memory lane, he recalls the many joys of receiving a hand written letter – in the days before the art of hand writing became practically extinct.

With modern technology affecting all our lives, communication has become instantaneous and the internet has opened up a whole new world for us all.

In many ways, progress is a good thing and I believe that we are incredibly fortunate to be living in one of the most exciting times of world history. However, there is one tradition that I hope will continue to be treasured by us all – the joy and pleasure of the World of Books.

With the advent of the ‘Kindle’; the book reading experience has joined the modern age and gone all ‘techie’. I do agree though that it is a great tool for reading on the move…and a boon for backpackers who are often weighted down with kilos of books – I just wish it had been around when I went back packing a few years ago!

I decided to take a ‘straw poll’ of my friends and family to ask how many would want to replace their beloved books with an electronic version of the same.

I am delighted to report that the general consensus was that no piece of technology can replace the joy of curling up with a good book and that it wouldn’t be the same somehow (at least for those of us over the age of 25!) to snuggle up in bed with a good ‘Kindle’ book.

 

There is something special and ‘touchy feely’ about the whole book experience…from perusing the shelves in the local book store or library; to making a selection and looking forward to some quiet time when we can switch off from the outside world and enter the world of inspiration contained within the pages of our chosen book.

Books have their own special energy. We like having them around to bring us comfort and security. Turning the pages to reveal the next exciting chapter is a real thrill. Books are our friends and our companions and we are never alone when we have a good book for company.

A book that touches us in some deep way will remain in our memories forever. And when a book makes such an impression, we can often we can recall exactly where we were when we first read it.

While I was back packing around Thailand, my favourite book was a rather heavy book called Shantaram (heavy in weight – not content – where was the Kindle then???)

It is an inspirational true story by David Gregory Roberts; an Australian drug addict and prison escapee, forced to live on the streets and slums of Mumbai, India, in an attempt to keep one step ahead of the law. It is a nail-biting read and kept me riveted for the entire 933 pages. A great read!

As you may have gathered by now, I am PASSIONATE about books!

I am so committed to promoting the joys of books and pleasures of reading that I have signed up to participate in World Book Night on Saturday 5th March 2011 (2 days after World Book Day on 3rd March) when I will be joining 20,000 other ‘givers’ to distribute 40,000 books to people of our choosing.

We will each have 48 copies of our book to give away – chosen from a selection of 25 titles.

My choice is a book called Life of Pi by Yann Martel – a transformative novel – a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God.

So if you spot me carrying a rather large heavy rucksack on my back, trawling the streets of London on the night of 5th March; please tap me on the shoulder, ask for your copy of the book – and join me in celebrating this wonderful World of Books!

Day 29 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I am going to curl up with a great book and nice cup of Earl Grey tea – bliss!

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31 responses

29 01 2011
classyrose

Someone else who likes to snuggle in bed with a good book. Technology is great but there are those times you want to leave it all behind and just escape. 🙂

29 01 2011
1961 Girl

Absolutely! And if I manage to get off this laptop by 2am…I intend to do just that!

Love your blog…I have now subscribed so I can keep up with your insightful writing. You are a great inspiration – thank you.

ps. how do you put the ‘smiley face’ at the end of your comments? Lots of people seem to do this and Miss Technophobe here is pretty clueless at times!!!

29 01 2011
classyrose

Thanks Julie, Smiley face is : – ) with no spaces 🙂 and the wink is ; – ) 😉

29 01 2011
1961 Girl

Thanks Rosemary…I know that is so basic and yet I never got round to finding out how to do until tonight. I shall look forward to adding lots of smiles to my comments from now on! 🙂

29 01 2011
frizztext

thank you for that great homage / tribute to the books!
http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/books/
and here my smiley for you
and thank you for dropping a line into my guestbook 🙂

29 01 2011
1961 Girl

Glad you enjoyed my tribute. As you probably guessed, I am somewhat of a champion of preserving and promoting the joys of book reading. Long may our love affair with books continue. Have a great weekend 🙂

29 01 2011
eof737

So true! I love books and I will probably end up being one of a handful of people holding out and insisting on paper copies. I love the feel and the way we can escape into another realm with a book in hand… Love em.
I will check out that group and see what they are up to. Great post! 🙂
Have a good weekend!
Eliz

29 01 2011
1961 Girl

I think many people will be holding out for the ‘real deal’ when it comes to books. Nothing can replace the experience of touching, smelling, holding and being surrounded by piles of books. The connection runs very deep and I believe that books will be one element of our past that moves with us into the future. 🙂

29 01 2011
eof737

Oh yeah Julie, I’d love a copy of the Pi book; I bet the English translation is a tad different from the US copy.
Ta love! 😉
E

29 01 2011
1961 Girl

Hi Eliz. If you want to email me your address, I shall be delighted to pop one in the post to you as soon as I’ve collected my copies (this is likely to be early March). Take care and have a great weekend. Juls 🙂

29 01 2011
Jenny Cutler

the trouble with Ebooks is it’s hard to go backwards – when you miss a bit – you’ve missed it – However, i do listen to one a month – because i love the voices – especially when it’s the writer – like Stephen Fry – it gives the story an extra dimension.

i have bought 5 copies of Element – most given away – but one for lending – as you have so little room – shall i put it in the post to you? love jenny

29 01 2011
1961 Girl

Hi Jenny.

Yes, I would love to read a copy of Element – that is so kind of you – thank you very much.

I have to confess to not listening to books as it isn’t something I’ve ever really thought about doing. Maybe I could try it sometime as I’m sure the story takes on a different dimension when imparted in such a way. Juls 🙂

29 01 2011
Piglet in Portugal

“I am delighted to report that the general consensus was that no piece of technology can replace the joy of curling up with a good book and that it wouldn’t be the same somehow (at least for those of us over the age of 25!) to snuggle up in bed with a good ‘Kindle’ book”

I could not agree more with the above comment 🙂 You should have added a poll to your post! There is nothing better than laying on the beach or sitting in front of a roaring fire on a rainy day reading a good book 🙂

29 01 2011
1961 Girl

Adding a poll is a great idea. Thanks. I will study the instructions and maybe add it to this post.

And thank you for explaining how you managed to get the itallics…saves me bugging you with more questions! Have a great day and enjoy your reading 🙂

29 01 2011
Piglet in Portugal

PS the italics were acheived in my response by adding text, then I am amazed it worked! LOL 🙂

29 01 2011
Papa Joe

Sorry Piglet, did I catch the full explanation here. You just put text, then … If that works, I’l be amazed too. 🙂 But I’ve got the smiley down pat. 😉 And the winky.

– Papa Joe

29 01 2011
Piglet in Portugal

Whooooops look like some of my text disapeared ?

OK if you want to highlight something in italics in comments (and this may not be the conventional way)

Copy and paste said text. Then add at the beginning of said text and then insert a / slash in front of the I at the end. Clear as mud?

I did not know how you get a Big smiley face D

29 01 2011
Piglet in Portugal

OK – Computer is full of mischief tonight and stealing some of my words. Sorry Julie

30 01 2011
1961 Girl

Hey Papa Joe.

Great to see that you’ve got the ‘smiles’ well sussed!

Yes, World Book Day and World Book Night…I don’t know if you have these in Canada, but here are the links:-
http://www.worldbooknight.org/
http://www.worldbookday.com/
They are a lovely way to promote book reading and to encourage others to read and treasure their books.

Have a great weekend.

30 01 2011
classyrose

Hi everyone, I just saw this yesterday on the Internet. Apparently March 6-12, 2011 is “Read and E-Book Week”. Celebrating 40 years for the electronic book.

http://www.ebookweek.com/index.html

Looks like there is some competition Juls. 🙂

30 01 2011
1961 Girl

Interesting to see that all three events are being held within days of each other!

I agree that the e-book has its place, but for me, a ‘real’ book wins hands down each and every time!

Thanks for the link Rose 🙂

30 01 2011
classyrose

I agree with you Juls. Nothing can replace a ‘real’ book. 🙂

29 01 2011
Papa Joe

Hi Julie! What a wonderful post. Please tell me more about this World book Night (and day). Sounds intriguing.

Thanks.

– Papa Joe 🙂 😀

(the 😀 “big smiley” face uses a capital letter ‘D’ instead of a right bracket. 😉 )

31 01 2011
Papa Joe

Thanks to everyone here for the links and tips on making my comments flashier. (Gotta admit though that it’s still a bit muddy but thanks. 😉 )

I’m glad to know that I’m in the company of readers. I’ll admit that I have not ventured into the world of ebooks yet and don’t know if I ever will. I counted my book collection a few years back and realized that I had enough unread material collected that even if I knocked off one a week, (and some are a LOT more than a week’s reading), I’d still have trouble getting through them all even if I lived to be a hundred.

I do love reading and to be honest, I’ve always loved writing too. Wonder what would have happened if computers and blogs had been around when I was Cassie’s age?

– Papa Joe

2 02 2011
Jean Paul

Oh, dear J, you won’t be spending the evening with me and our other friends in Bicester :-(. However, it IS in a good cause.

And you forgot to mention the smell! Surely the most evocative of senses is that of smell, and how truly wonderful it is to walk into an old bookshop (or, most especially, an old book shop) and to be assailed by that glorious and slightly musty aroma that is old paper :-). And then to curl up, coffee or wine in hand, and open those slightly crisped pages, to pull back the creaking spine, and to sink, so comfortably and slowly, into the creamy, welcoming pages……. Oh, bliss!

2 02 2011
1961 Girl

Oh yes JP…I will now be spending the evening with you and friends in Bicester…complete with my 48 books (actually 47 cos I want to have another read and I don’t have a copy!) And it will be far more fun than trawling the streets of London at the dead of night handing out books to those intent on have a good time in the pubs and bars!

I can’t believe that I forgot to talk about the smell of books cos I had made a note to mention this. You are so right…the smell conquers up some lovely memories and I can spend hours loitering around old book shops just to experience the sight and smells of my wonderful book friends.

And yes, it’s about time you began writing a blog. It’s not too late to join the challenge and kiss goodbye to more than a few hours sleep a night for the next year!

Juls 🙂

2 02 2011
Quidmont

Hello once more Julie. I’m working my way backwards through your blog and trying not to comment on every post. They’re all beautifully written and I love them. I just don’t want to meet you and have you think I’m stalking you all in one day.

So I’ll stop at this post (for today). But I must ask if you’d mind if I referenced it in my blogs. Yes, there are two blogs. I won’t list them here because I’m not just out for cheap links. I just want you to know that I have one aimed primarily at writers and another aimed more at readers. I think this post would be wonderful for both blogs.

I’d also ask if I may link to your blog in general from both blogs and from my web site. I think you’d serve as wonderful inspiration for all the writers out there who complain that they can never think of anything to write about. And your writing would be a delight for those who love reading.

Last note, sorry for posting this publicly. I’m not looking for cheap references to my pages. Normally I’d send this note to you privately in an email, but I don’t see one listed to reach you. Hope you don’t mind me sending this here. If you want to reach me by email I’m at quidmont@quidmont.com. I’ll be happy to let you check out the blogs and web site before you agree to the links if you like.

Thanks for a wonderful blog.

– Bob

2 02 2011
broadsideblog

Nice to know there are people — you like us! you really like us! — still deeply passionate about books. I write, and my new one is out in April, so I hope you’ll take a look and see if it appeals to you; the first chapter is up, free, on its website and it’s gotten a few very nice reviews already.

Books link us in ways that I think traditional media no longer do; by your spelling, I think you’re in England and I (a Canadian) now live in NY…I suspect we would find little in common through other media, but may well have read and loved many of the same books.

I love the idea of giving away books. It is the coolest thing in the world for a writer to know our words are spreading far and wide and finding new readers.

http://malledthebook.com/

5 02 2011
writerwoman61

Thank you, Julie, for promoting a love of books! I’ve co-owned an antiquarian bookstore for more than ten years, but was unaware of World Book Day. You might enjoy this piece that I wrote about e-books (I’m not a fan!):

http://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/a-dozen-things-you-cant-do-with-an-e-book/

Wendy

5 02 2011
1961 Girl

Hello again.

I love your post with your top 10 reasons why ‘real’ books are so much better than e-books. I could never imagine loving an e-book in the way I love my ‘real’ books. They are my friends and bring me great comfort. I sense that books will survive the advance of technology…for all the reasons you so beautifully illustrate in your post – thank you.

Juls 🙂

5 02 2011
writerwoman61

No problem, Juls…it’s my business to care about books and their preservation!

Wendy

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