Collecting, Discarding, or e-Books:
What do you say?
Excuse us for living, but throughout our lives both wife Geri and I have loved and collected books. We just love our books and can’t say it enough. All the while, we have seen the change over the years to e-books or “read and discard” books at best. What is your preference? What do you do?
We have never considered the many linear feet of books on our bookshelves as “our library.” Rather, we enjoy every individual title. Some we have read. Others just sit there in case we “get a fancy” to read it. – – College books, a book subscription years ago from The Franklin Library, books from antique shops and consignment shops, and, naturally, bookstore purchases and, oh, that Amazon online! – – Hardcover, paperback, new or used, free shipping?
We talk so about our “too many books” apologetically in this day and age. In an age of the Kindle and other electronic e-book/reading devices, many people see the physical books as “space wasters.” Even people who still appreciate and enjoy the feel and experience of reading a book in their hands, many people discard a book once read. Indeed, libraries are digitizing their collections! And as we, ourselves, look to downsize to a condo or townhouse, with the “For Sale” sign up on our old 1885 Dutch Colonial as I write this, the question arises as to how many books will a new place accommodate? And what about you? Do you have a book collection? Do you discard books after reading them? Do you read e-books?
This is our living room book case with mostly classics from The Franklin Library from Keats, Poe, Hawthorne, Joyce, Melville, Kipling, Dickens, and so many more. – – The other books here are largely a collection of books on art, music, and religion.
Here is our enclosed porch or family room bookshelves with books most personal to me. There are college books from my BA at Rutgers U. in history and my MA at Drew U. in political science. – – And then the many books on history, biography, and politics, that I have read, mostly. Special to me is my small collection of books on each of these figures in America’s 20th century story; Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Bobby Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, and Jimmy Carter. – – Plus the complete works of David McCullough! Anyone into First Editions?
In one bedroom are books surrounding wife Geri’s desk and laptop. These books reflect Geri’s lifelong passion reading romance novels. Geri’s favorite author? – – Nora Roberts! – – There are more romance novels elsewhere in the house! – – Many more!
The other bedroom I dominate with our PC and the overflow bookshelves here with TOO MUCH memorabilia crammed in front of the books! – – Everything from more college books to classic titles, biographies and autobiographies from showbiz personalities, and, on the lowest two shelves, left and right, my treasured collection of books handed down to me from my grandfather and namesake, Philip Fontana. – – My favorite is his 1940 copy of Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn,” illustrated by Norman Rockwell! The most precious, rare, valuable book here I found at a flea market bookstore for $2.00 way back when; an 1886 publication of Dante’s “The Divine Comedy,” translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow!!! – – Once, a literature professor I met was so in awe of it, he asked if I would permit him to photocopy it, which I did.
Excuse us for living in one house for 43 years because there are four additional, though less substantial, book cases in the house besides those pictured here and a few other assorted shelves and spots for books! The question remains as to how many books we can take with us to a condo or townhouse. Clearly, we must part with some of these books. And we look to store away some of the books in our new place. We could never reproduce the wonderful bookshelf space we have enjoyed here in our home all these years! What about you? Where do you stand on collecting books? Leave a comment below!
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