Who writes anymore? Don't we simply type brief messages into Facebook or Twitter, send IMs or emails, and text on the phone? Who reads an actual book? We have e-readers and i-Pads; we have devices for listening to podcasts and audio-books while we are driving or running or knitting. Why hold a book when you can get 2 or 3 things accomplished simultaneously?
I like books - I like holding the weight and turning pages. I like the tactile pleasure of the cover and the paper. I like pausing to reflect on what I am reading after a few paragraphs or perhaps pages. I know I am not alone in this. At least one other person in world agrees with me! In her book, Howard's End is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home, Susan Hill writes: "I love the book. I love the feel of a book in my hands, the compactness of it, the shape, the size. ... I am astonished by the versatility and practicality of The Book. It is so simple. It is so fit for its purpose. ... no e-reader will ever give me that sort of added pleasure."
I believe there are others of you out there who also share this feeling that a well-crafted book is a treasure to hold and to use. Here is one example of a book - in this case a Fanny Farmer Cookbook - that was so well loved and used, it fell apart.
I am delighted that I was able to give it back to the owner - for whom it held great sentimental value - in a condition to be used again.
Certainly there is value in technology, but there is also value in turning it off at times. Recent ice storms in my part of the world have reminded folks that we cannot always take electricity for granted and that a printed book can be read by candle light. We don't need to wait for power outages to unplug and get back to basics, however. Our physical well-being demands that we make the effort to slow down and breathe, balance our lives and be mindful or our activities. Reading or writing in a book can do that for us. Reading and writing in hand-bound books provides additional aesthetic value.
The books I create can be read and looked at; they can be written in. I and others have come up with well over a hundred uses for a handmade book. I will be writing about these categories and more in future blogs:
- journalling - a diary, travel journal, notes on books read, etc.
- sharing favorite childhood stories (for example, a hand-bound copy of Alice in Wonderland would make a terrific gift for someone who loves the story)
- special occasion guest books
- celebrating a special relationship
- collecting recipes, quotations, or profound thoughts
and the list goes on! Check out whaddaya-do-with-a-blank-book on Pinterest for another look at the topic and stay tuned for my updates, which I hope will inspire and motivate!