Monday, October 1, 2018

Books with Hand Feel

I recently re-read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with my friend Hannah. 
When I went to snag a copy I wasn't surprised that my library had several editions of this classic title.  I selected the oldest version we owned--published in 1922.  That particular copy was old enough that it was from the library shelves of one the predecessor schools that would merge to form the college I work for today  ...and we took up our current name in 1947!  It seriously pleased me to envision all the people who'd laid hands on it before me.  The untold number of students, staff, and faculty who had invested their time between those very pages over the past near century. 
And let me tell you.  That book was imbued with some solid handfeel.  It just felt good in my hand and and it made reading it a true pleasure.  The worn spine splayed the book delightfully flat across my palm.  The coarse, thick pages are yellowed and splattered with the debris of life--coffee? soil? dinner?  The scuffed corners and spine had been buttressed with book tape--complete with the wispy penning of the title down the spine from some librarian of bygone days.
I will read books in basically any format--print books, audiobooks, ebooks, whatever!  I just like to read and they're all acceptable to me, albeit in different ways.  So while I know that handfeel isn't critical to enjoyment of a book it can certainly be the cherry on top of an already pleasant experience.  There is just something about the way some books feels in my hand that will never be fully replaced by either a crisp new print version or my Kindle. 

It is like easing into a well-loved pair of shoes.  It is just feels right.  It just feels good.

2 comments:

  1. That is interesting that your library has several copies of this classic; we don't do that. Well, with a few things we may have one in adult, one in young adult, etc. But otherwise, we can't afford to keep extra books on the somewhat crowded shelves.

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    1. Interesting the differences in how libraries operate. I love it.

      We have this old copy, an annotated copy, and an illustrated copy. So, I guess they're all different...sorta. So far they're safe, but we've been focusing our weeding on the non-fiction in recent years. Maybe someday they'll get narrowed down to one, but...

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