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Posts tagged “books”

  1. Why Don’t I Read All My Books?
    lithub.com

    Karen Olsson thinks about the importance of the many books she owns but will never read:

    Perhaps in some cases it has actually meant more to me to possess a book than to read it, because as long as its contents remain unknown to me, it retains its mystery. The unread book is a provocation, a promise of something that might dissipate if I slogged my way through the text. I’ve read a little of Cave, City, and Eagle’s Nest: An Interpretive Journey Through the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan No. 2, a sumptuous art book about a 16th-century pictorial manuscript from Mexico […]. I keep this book around even though I don’t wish to make anything of it in a literal sense—I don’t want to write fiction or nonfiction or a nutty screenplay about a mesoamerican document, but I wish for it to somehow whisper in my ear while I write something not at all about the map, for its enigmatic presence to leave some ineffable trace.

    I love this idea, and I must admit that I suffer from the same affliction. Design books, self-help books, nonfiction books… I want them to somehow transmit that “ineffable trace” to me just by virtue of sitting on my desk, mostly unread; no matter how many cookbooks I buy, it seems I always end up going to Serious Eats when I need a recipe.

    I’m trying to read more by divorcing the physicality of owning a book from the process of reading it, so I bought an eReader. Now I get paper versions of the books I want to own, and digital versions of the ones I want to read. Totally normal, I know.

  2. The ‘Future Book’ Is Here, but It’s Not What We Expected
    wired.com

    Craig Mod always reminds me that words are magic:

    Hiking with a Kindle definitely feels futuristic—an entire library in a device that weighs less than a small book, and rarely needs charging. And my first impulse on reading Johnson’s final line, sitting on a dirt path in the mountains of Japan flanked by Cryptomeria japonica, was to eulogize him right there, smack dab in the text while a nightingale whistled overhead. The Kindle indicated with a subtle dotted underline and small inline text that those final sentences had been highlighted by “56 highlighters.” Other humans! Reading this same text, feeling the same impulse. Some need to mark those lines.

    I wanted to write, “Fuck. Sad to think this is the last new work we’re going to get from this guy. Most definitely dead as I’m reading it.” You know, something in the vulgarity of Johnson himself. I wanted to stick my 10-cent eulogy between those lines for others to read, and to read what those others had thought. Purchasing a book is one of the strongest self-selections of community, and damn it, I wanted to engage.

    But I couldn’t. For my Kindle Oasis—one of the most svelte, elegant, and expensive digital book containers you can buy in 2018—is about as interactive as a potato. Instead, I left a note for myself: “Write something about how this isn’t the digital book we thought we’d have.”