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What was a Book Reaction…

August 4, 2011

Today I had a physical pang for a real book. And I was so astonished – I mean I love my Kindle and the fact that I can get my bestseller e-books in a matter of seconds. I adore that I can carry my Kindle in my bag and that waiting anywhere is a pleasure because it gives me the chance to read any of the books I have waiting for me. But today a friend sent me some of the art of Christopher Stott and I was quite surprised by my reaction.

 

His work is quite remarkable; I had to look at it again to be sure that it wasn’t a photograph. I was examining all the details of the books such as the little torn and curled ends of the book sleeves, the typesetting and the colours, and I realised that I knew exactly what these books looked like under those covers. I knew the familiar textured hardcover I would find beneath the sleeve and I knew the sound the book would make when I opened its cover. I knew what I would find inside the cover; often a bookshop stamp or sticker, often a beautiful bookplate a few pages along, often some line drawings to punctuate the story. Moreover, I knew what the typesetting would look like AND I even knew how these books would smell. It was, for all intents and purposes, an absolute physical reaction to the picture.

 Why? Because I have books like these. The move has uncovered some of the “Treasures of my Youth” which I’ve had in boxes. For so many years I lost myself in all of my Anne of Green Gables books, the set of Famous Fives, the girls at Mallory Towers & St. Clares, the dancers at Sadlers Wells, The Secret Garden and so many more. Each book is an old friend, and whilst I could get rid of the multitude of paperbacks with ease over the last while I could not let go of these cherished tales.

 So I will be reading an actual book or two over the next while. And I’ve reminded myself that, whilst I adore technology of any kind, in many ways my heart is still a little retro.

 

 

 

Note: more of the art of Christopher Stott here.

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