I've decided that, despite being told that books are an evil, earth destroying entity due to the vast tree consumption, ink, dye, and bleach pollution integral to paper production, I shall still seek to have an eventually ginormous library collection.
Honestly, I hate polluting streams and poisoning wee fish and sundry crustaceans as much as the next nature lover. However, I think I LOVE paper even more than I love the aforementioned fishy crustaceans.
I suppose I feel that, of all of the everyday items that we consume as human beings which are, on some level, harmful to the environment (not talking about global warming here, but obvious, tangibly recordable chemical pollution) books are perhaps one of the most noble. Pollution in the name of literary advancement seems to be a great deal easier to stomach than say, the superfluous use of plastic. I mean, it is difficult to purchase anything that isn't packaged 2 or 3 times over in plastic. Store clerks seem almost offended when one tells them that a 5 gallon plastic bag won't be necessary to carry a package of tick tacs to out to one's car. So, I guess when I think about books in that context, I can't help but think, WORTH IT.
I realize that with the digitalization (don't care if that is really a word or not) of nearly EVERYTHING, the argument against the necessity of actually printing books is quite valid. However, there is just something about holding a physical copy of a book in one's hand that seems to be an integral part of the experience. I love reading something phenomenal online, or on a blog, or whatever, but I love even more having that physical copy in my hands. I love the smell of the paper and the ink, the feel of the pages on my fingers. The weight of the book, the crack of the spine. The feeling of satisfaction upon reading the last page, closing the book, and placing it on the shelf. And remembering the way the book made you FEEL every time you see it on the shelf. I don't want to lose part of the reading experience. I realize that the words and the content are the same whether digital or not, however I don't want to lose the physical part. I don't love my ipod like I love my favorite books. I love the artists on my ipod, but the machine itself I couldn't care less about. When that guy dies, I'm pist because I have to buy a new one. Inside and out, I love my books. Perhaps this is selfish on my part; but I don't think that I am alone in this sentiment.
I have decided that I am going to attempt to purchase 1 book a week, for the remainder of my life. I realize this is a rather lofty (and costly) goal, but I really want to have a vast library. And 15 dollars on a book is a much more worthy expense than 15 bucks on a buffet, or some other such nonsense. It was upon purchasing 2 books this week that I made this decision; Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathon Safran Foer, and All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy. If anyone has any suggestions for upcoming weeks, I'd love to hear them. I'd like to know your favorite book, and exactly WHY it is your favorite. Perhaps it will end up on my shelf, and you and I together can singlehandedly destroy the environment whilst strengthening our hearts and minds.