Bookish Sentiment du Jour

From Joe Queenan’s new book, One for the Books:

Books possess alchemical powers, imbued with the ability to turn darkness into light, ennui into ecstasy, a drab, predictable life behind the Iron Curtain into something stealthily euphoric. Or so book lovers believe. The tangible reality of books defines us, just as the handwritten scrolls of the Middle Ages defined the monks who concealed them from barbarians. We believe that the objects themselves have magical powers.

People who prefer e-books may find this baffling or silly. They think that books merely take up space. This is true, but so do your children and Prague and the Sistine Chapel. A noted scientific writer recently argued that the physical copy of a book was an unimportant fetish, that books were “like the coffin at a funeral.” Despite such comments, I am not all that worried about the future of books. If books survived the Huns, the Vandals, and the Nazis, they can surely survive noted scientific writers.

For another recent bookish observation, from an essay adapted by Queenan from his new book, see this earlier post.

Found via The Huffington Post

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