Monday, April 12, 2010
Back in My Library
One of the nice things about being back is that I have access once again to my books. My wife can tell you that I can't seem to travel without an inordinate number of books but even those are only a small portion of my library on the history of technology. As I look at the titles that I can see next to me by the computer, I feel like I am with learned old friends. The titles and art work beckon with a promise of interesting stories of entrepreneurs and inventors who tried to changed the world. And some even succeeded.
I can never see a shelf of books without thinking about the authors who labored over the research and the manuscripts. Each one of them wanted to write something that would be well received by their readers. They wanted to see their names on the covers, offering at least a little immortality. They probably even made a little money along the way. I am thankful that they made the effort.
Lots of my books are older editions. Some date back fifty years or more, but that makes them no less appealing to me. Sometimes these older books are even more interesting for the different perspective they provide. The worn dust jackets and linen covers reveal a book that has been "around the block" a few times and has survived the recycle bin or landfill. (The image is a stock photo. My books aren't yet that old!)
When I think about reading some of these old histories on a Kindle or iPad, it just doesn't feel like it would be right somehow. If, as Marshall McLuhan said, "the medium is the message", then I need an old medium for my history of technology books. The musty pages have a certain aroma that connotes time.
It is always fun to travel but it is good to be home.