Here is the entirety of the word-vomit email I sent to Rebecca for her BookRiot piece. Think of it as the DVDs extras to this barnstormer of a teapot tempest.
I am a book lover. I care deeply about words and ideas and stories. What I care very little about is how these words and ideas and stories are transported. Hardcover? Paperback? Audiobook? Ebook? Chapbook? Zine? Browser window? Bring it on.
I am continually mystified by people who worship the physical object. They used words like “sacred” and “deface” and “murder.” My best guess is that these people have little experience working in a bookstore, library, or publishing house. Books are made in China from wood pulp. If they don’t sell, to wood pulp they return. Some of them are beautiful or rare or collectible. Most of them are little blocks of paper containing ideas. Many of them are little blocks of paper containing vampire romance, housewife BDSM, or neo-Catholic conspiracy theories. Many of them are obsolete encyclopedias, guides how to use Friendster to promote your business, travel guides to Cleveland from 1986. If books find a place as art or craft or marriage proposal, I feel comfortable saying it is better than many deserve. If you think your local library or school or used bookshop will be overjoyed by your donation of World Book 1992 (for any purpose other than arts and crafts time, that is) I can assure you, you are sorely mistaken. Some books are worthless. It’s just a fact.
Many years ago I found a free book on a giveaway shelf with a nice red cover. With exacto knife and Aleene’s craft glue, I created a treasure box I use daily. The book is called Send A Fax To The Casbah. Should anyone be eager to read it, there are currently 77 copies available on Amazon beginning at a price of $0.01. Knock yourselves out.
If books should never be “defaced” what do you romantics propose we do with 100,000 used hardcover copies of every book Danielle Steele has ever written? With 1,000,000 hardcover Da Vinci Codes, when every person remotely interested has read it twice. With manuals for home computers and game consoles long relegated to the landfill? With MSG cookbooks and style advice from Martha Stewart and political screeds by long irrelevant tv hosts written about long irrelevant mayors?
Should we hold onto the ideas for posterity? Absolutely. Should we allow creative people to use stacks of paper for anything they damn well please? I am certain of it.
People who paw and sigh over physical books know all the songs from Moulin Rouge.
- teenagehallucination likes this
- lyssaspeakgood reblogged this from rachelfershleiser
- fuckyouyellowlight likes this
- onceuponaspacetime likes this
- psychobreakdown reblogged this from nickdouglas
- devincupcake likes this
- luria-p likes this
- mlmjr reblogged this from rachelfershleiser and added:
- jaimealyse likes this
- smallvictories likes this
- renscribbles likes this
- believesinsongs reblogged this from rachelfershleiser
- msridleyenglish likes this
- sciencevsromance likes this
- alexmoschina likes this
- kewelle likes this
- nickdouglas reblogged this from rachelfershleiser and added:
- bradydale said: Hell’s yeah. — and by the way, that’s a throwback phrase from back in the day when the only way you could really read a book was on paper. Which feels appropriate here. Because the world is different now. And it still means something in digital.
- hornreviews likes this
- finkymadethis likes this
- italicsmine likes this
- fuckiminmy20s likes this
- jrichmanesq likes this
- sexpigeon likes this
- aworldofloveliness reblogged this from rachelfershleiser and added:
- mcst294-03 reblogged this from rachelfershleiser
- jaygabler likes this
- hauntinglogistics likes this
- bradleywarshauer likes this
- rachelfershleiser posted this