“My 6,128 Favorite Books”

Writer Joe Queenan has written a high-spirited and hilarious tribute to The Physical Book, regaling his readers with what he likes to read, and  when, where, how, and why he reads, plus (among many other things) which types of books he stays away from.

Queenan’s entire essay (adapted from his new book One for the Books) is the best ode to the printed book that we’ve read in months and months, so we urge you to read the entire thing. It’s all as entertaining and thoughtful as its final three paragraphs:

People who need to possess the physical copy of a book, not merely an electronic version, believe that the objects themselves are sacred. Some people may find this attitude baffling, arguing that books are merely objects that take up space. This is true, but so are Prague and your kids and the Sistine Chapel. Think it through, bozos.

The world is changing, but I am not changing with it. There is no e-reader or Kindle in my future. My philosophy is simple: Certain things are perfect the way they are. The sky, the Pacific Ocean, procreation and the Goldberg Variations all fit this bill, and so do books. Books are sublimely visceral, emotionally evocative objects that constitute a perfect delivery system.

Electronic books are ideal for people who value the information contained in them, or who have vision problems, or who have clutter issues, or who don’t want other people to see that they are reading books about parallel universes where nine-eyed sea serpents and blind marsupials join forces with deaf Valkyries to rescue high-strung albino virgins from the clutches of hermaphrodite centaurs, but they are useless for people engaged in an intense, lifelong love affair with books. Books that we can touch; books that we can smell; books that we can depend on. Books that make us believe, for however short a time, that we shall all live happily ever after.

Found via Shelf Awareness

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One Response to “My 6,128 Favorite Books”

  1. Roger ('tis me!) says:

    My thoughts exactly! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to head to a book store to find the book about “parallel universes where nine-eyed sea serpents and blind marsupials join forces with deaf Valkyries to rescue high-strung albino virgins from the clutches of hermaphrodite centaurs….” Can’t wait 🙂

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