Sunday, October 1, 2017
The straw that broke the book's spine
Yesterday in this space I'm afraid I shocked some of my library focused readers with my confession that I dog-ear pages. And if that horror wasn't enough of an admission I also endorsed a certain disregard for the physical object of a book. The ideal and essence of a book, I argued, lies deeper than any physical or mundane object, no matter what attachment we may nevertheless feel towards it.
I advocated, or may as well advocate, all manner of cavalier bookish disregard, including reading while eating spaghetti, reading in a bath, and even reading on the toilet. I advocate throwing books away merely because one doesn't want to carry them anymore, or store them, now that they're finished. Hell, I'm okay with just throwing a book away in a fit of pique. I advocate crushing large basement spiders and centipedes with books, using books as building materials, and ripping apart books for craft projects. You can, as far as I'm concerned, burn books, use them to protect yourself from fired bullets or knife attacks, or store flat things of any kind in them. I do not even care what the flat things are, or even that they be all that flat.
This is a lot for my library constituency to handle emotionally. And even I, winding through my disregard for books, have a protective love as well. And so I will throw out this lifeline:
My permissiveness, or dismissiveness, is vast, but it does have a limit.
Never, ever, ever write in a book in any way.