In the past, I have bemoaned the mounting popularity of the e-reader only to admit that the rising price of books, cost of printing and the long required reading lists for school pushed me to begin using an iPad. I walked around in shame that, as a self-identified bibliophile, I used an e-reader. Nothing made me happier than buying a new (tangible) book, throwing it in my purse and reading it out in the world. I never viewed this as a bragging act or an attempt to gain certain status in the eyes of others, but Mireille Silcoff’s article for the the New York Times Magazine has me wondering about my intentions.
Am I being nostalgic for an era in which I barely lived? Are my shelves of books an identity symbol designed to attract a certain perception? My shelves are messy, organized by favorites, school and fun. They do not resemble the artistically arranged shelves I see in the home design photos I regularly peruse. These haphazardly stacked books in my apartment are on the other end of the design spectrum from neatly arranged rainbow shelves. Does the lack of curation mean I love my books more or less?
I began questioning the sincerity of my love for books while reading Silcoff’s “On Their Death Bed, Physical Books Have Finally Become Sexy.” This article is a must read for book lovers. It covers the emotional spectrum offering a rollercoaster of reaction as you feel nostalgic for the good ol’ days, sad and close to tears because of e-readers, and confused as you wonder if you contribute to the objectification of books. I’m still caught in a web of doubt by the article, especially as I use a picture of stacked books from a used book store for the featured photo of this post to show off that I’m on the “in.” What does it all mean? Take a read! What are your thoughts on Silcoff’s observations?