Aa some readers of this blog will have gathered, I am a technophile. I love gadgets, and in particular am fully immersed in the digital world. I read my newspapers on the iPad, and I have goodness knows how many ebooks and electronically stored documents and reports. But I have not completely left the analogue world, nor will I. So for example, whenever I read, in ebook form, a book I really like, then I buy it in hard copy, indeed preferably hardback if available. And in my family home in Ireland, I have a very large collection of contemporary and vintage books, several thousand by now.

I love books. I like the look, the feel, the smell. In older books, I love the knowledge of the procession of people who have read them through the ages. I also own some books printed in the 19th century or earlier that were never read – the pages were still joined together until I cut them. I love the sense that these leather bound volumes were prepared by some craftspeople 200 years ago to be read by me now, for the first time.

So here you can see a small selection of my books from one particular shelf: 19th century travel guides. They are a particular pleasure to read, and in this case, as you can see, they were much used long before I got to them. They are the inherited appreciation of the world we can visit.

travel guides

travel guides

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2 Comments on “Books”

  1. Anna Notaro Says:

    I think the genre of the travel books is particularly apt in this case..books are indeed the ‘inherited appreciation of the world we can visit’, they help us to find our way during the journey, like any good travel guide they are an endless source of advice and they shed some light on the (e)motional geographies of our lives, I had the chance previously on this blog to write about the relationship between books in print and digital ones (, since I was five books have been my travel guide to fantastic places, imaginary journeys in time and space…they still are, and that is probably also the reason why they feature among my professional (media) interests. What the future holds for books in print is the sort of antiquarian interest described in this post..the haptic fascination with their texture, with their smell, with the *page* (I personally love very thin pages in old books, the ones you can almost read through.. so fragile that one wonders by what miracle they have survived!).

    A few words on the photograph included in this post, I am not sure it needs a frame, without it the books would gain in prominence, so to say…realism would be enhanced, and one cannot but appreciate the intention of using the light for rendering their beautiful texture…

  2. I am much the same way with books, I have an extensive kindle collection, yet my bookshelves at home overflow with just as much goodness in paperback and hardback.
    Your shelf looks very interesting!

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