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Briefly

Brad @ Burning Man
Yesterday afternoon, I had a couple of minutes to kill, so I pulled one of my old favorite books down off of the shelf: Barbara Ninde Byfield, The Book of Weird, in trade paperback, from 1973.

Mistake.

It came apart in my hands, mostly. The pages are cracking, the binding is shot. Shame. It was a thing of beauty, both the pictures and the prose. I think I can either read it again, maybe one more time period, or I can keep it, but I can't do both.

Tonight, before bed, I glanced over at John Scalzi's blog, and saw that he, too, had permanence vs. impermanence of books on his mind, the last couple of days: a lovely meditation on the pointlessness of trying to "write for the ages," and then a follow-up in which he gently picks a fight with Jonathan Franzen on the "permanence" and "solidity" of paper books vs e-books.

Ars longa, vita brevis, my ass.

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defusi0n
Jan. 31st, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
I don't have many books from that decade but the hardbacks seem to be holding up better than the paperbacks. Thankfully none are literally falling apart yet but some of the pages are a little brittle.

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