It is several years now since the term post-literate was coined. And the death of the paper copy book is continually mooted. It seems however that there has never been a higher volume of physical books published year on year.
Personally I can’t resist an old cloth cover book. No matter that it isn’t a collector’s item nor worth particularly much. No matter that it is slightly worse for wear. And unlikely as it is that I will ever turn up a Gutenberg Bible or any other really valuable tome [though such finds DO still happen], there is something thrilling about holding a classic piece of literature in your hands that you know to be the best part of 100 years old.
This week I found a two volume 1935 clothbound copy of The Decameron from the Everyman’s Library series. There is just something about the quality/weight of the paper and the typewriter kind of ‘mistake’ in the printing of the odd letter here and there, as well as the general wear and tear agedness, which gives the books real character.
Here’s hoping that ‘real’ books never become mere collectors’ items for the rich or worse still mere fuel for the fire.