A "Re-Reader" Turns the Corner
Books are hanging on, despite the electronic challenge.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Should abuse of books be against the law?
Abuse of books is not against the law!
You know you're approaching the final stretch when certain things in your life you had always held as morally reprehensible start to become acceptable.
One manifestation of this was especially noticed recently when I began turning down the corner of the pages of the books being read, or, rather re-read
I also realized I had ceased to buy mostly used books from Amazon, e-Bay and various charity shops - when they were open. I have rarely bought new books. Mainly because they usually start their circulated lives as hardbacks, which I detest except for my research tomes...too heavy and angular to read in bed, and they are far too expensive for this pensioner's meagre accumulation of riches.
But the really significant change of a life time's behaviour was that I was defacing my beloved books by turning down a corner - even half a page - to keep my place.
My books - about 250 in all - have followed me around the world and back again at huge expense. They were mostly acquired during the fifteen years I was a working journalist and teacher in Mexico; many were used as a resource for my articles; others were my small collection of US Crime and Detective novels, which I have read and re-read many times. These were mainly by Crais, Burke, Connelly and Child, excellent authors all, but especially revered were the jewels by James Lee Burke.
And not once previously in 20 years of writing for a living and reading for sanity did I ever turn down the corner of one of my friends!
I would have sooner kicked the cat or shook the budgie's cage!
I kept my place as one should with anything to hand as a bookmark, as often as not, a piece of loo tissue - well? Isn't that where we all enjoy a good read?
Perhaps one of the subconcious reasons I have begun to treat my small library with such contempt is the fact that there is little market for paper-back books any more, thanks to the Internet and the moronic race it is breeding.
I had always thought that I would sell most on eBay one day or cart 'em down to the boot sales back when, but too much trouble; all the shlepping and fisting grubby pennies.
And my eclectic selection of non-fiction have little interest to modern readers who get all their information from Wikipedia and their funsies on awful Facebook.
(By the way, Hub-pages contributors should cease from plagiarising Wiki to pad-out their articles or even their comments!)
Although, in a moment of weakness, I bought a Kimble Reader last year with the intention of joining the down-load crowd, I disliked it from day one...plus the fact E-Books are just as expensive as the discounted real things! Disgusting greed which will probably kill this market, if it has not already done so.
For me, reading books electronically destroyed the joy of escaping somewhere, hand-in-hand with the author and his protagonists. And the kimble screen was just too small; the nasty little battery-bound bugger had no substance.
At my great age - older than my teeth and the same age as my tongue - as mum always said, I wonder what will happen to my friends when I die? I expect they will all end up in a skip, along with most of what I own, having become nothing more than a nuisance to those stalwarts entrusted with sweeping away the detritus of a life.
So should I begin now with ridding myself of these millions of captive words? Is the defacing of their poor corners the beginning of the end? And does it matter?
Does anything matter?? Is the Virus or its peers going to rid the planet of troublesome man anyway? Aren't dusty old books just dangerous in- between stations for busy little colonialists eventually seeking loamy lung tissue to settle and multiply?
Is that a non-productive cough beginning in the library?
Going to bed once always meant being accompanied by reading matter. Nowadays, I find myself flirting with the bedroom television, with fare such as free Freeview Sports, or worse, Babestation! Even Robichaux, Clete, Pike and Elvis Cole have palled, to the possible chagrin of authors Robert Crais and James Lee Burke, should someone tell them. Reacher, I can easily do without, I think he's gay anyway. (sorry Lee Child).
Turning down the corner of a page in a book instantly devalues it. And it leaves a permanent scar which nothing will remove.
Worse, I suppose, are those careless readers who pass books on with the pages still turned down. What a put-down of the publication that is. It says, "Look, this book wasn't even worth finishing" Almost as bad as the absolute sociopaths who remove pages, leaving the new reader to leap an intellectual or literary gap and try to pick up the loose ends of the plot.
If only more people cared for books these days. I would be happy to donate the lot free of charge. Or take them to the charity shops. But the situation will soon arrive when we will have to pay to dispose of them.
Soon, it won't matter that an undistinguished and little-known retired journalist who had once loved his flock had begun to treat them with indifference and cruelty. Cremation will have ended our long partnership and our suffering.