Charles Petzold

I Love Books

January 18, 2006

A recent Chris Sells blog entry leads me to confess:

I love books. I love the physicality of books. I love the paper and glue and ink. I love the way that books get imprinted with their readers' fingers and sweat as they imprint their contents on their readers' minds. I love the way that book and reader are never quite the same.

I love how every book is unique. I love how books are all different sizes and shapes and colors with different layouts and fonts. I love how books are not just monotonous ASCII streams.

I love how my books remind me of passages in my life. I love the shelves of authors I've been obsessed with, and the books that knocked me over. I love knowing that I still own virtually every book I've read.

I love how searching for something in a book leads me to encounter other, perhaps forgotten, books. I love footnotes and bibliographies. I love that all the books in the world are linked in a process of ever increasing knowledge and wisdom.

I love the serendipity of second-hand bookstores, and the gasp that signals a particularly wonderful find. I love rushing to pay for a book before the store figures out that they've underpriced it.

I love that a book can go anywhere with me. I love how books don't need batteries. I love how books don't require version 2.1 when you're only running version 2.0.

I love breezing through airport security with only a book in my hand and a happy flight ahead of me.

I love how people who love books have so far resisted the trend to digital disposability. I love that we're still reading the way they did in Athens 2500 years ago. I love how books are designed so well that nobody's come up with anything better.