Sunday, January 27, 2013

“When I have a little money,

 I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” ~Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus about things that are clinging to life in this tech world.  The start of the semester has me thinking along this line.   How many bookstores have had to close their doors...both small shops and large corporate stores...even libraries are facing the demise of the printed word.  I recently read about a library going check out a Kindle!  As a paper person, I have mixed feelings.  I love books...I have degrees in Library Science and English...a no-brainer as they say!  Maybe the "i" creatures will allow more reading?  I can see it for novels, but somehow the wonderful picture/photo books...aka coffee table books...just don't seem to have the same flair on a Kindle Fire or Nook!

Research is being done on this topic.  According to “E-book Reading Jumps; Print Book Reading Declines,”  the study did find that the percentage of American adults who read e-books increased over the past year, while the percentage that read printed books fell, but the changes are modest. E-book readers rose from 16 percent to 23 percent, while printed book readers declined from 72 percent to 67 percent."

So, books are not dead yet!
And that brings me to today's feature...bookends!  The French call bookends appui-livres or books' support.  That makes sense...why isn't one part of the bookend a book-start?  Bookends were not around until the Renaissance.  During the medieval times, mainly monasteries had books, and they were chained to the study carrels because they were valuable assets.  (Always fascinating to note that human nature does not change!)
As books were produced in greater quantities, their numbers on the shelves became a dangerous gravity scenario.  Pull the one large book out, and an avalanche could occur burying the reader or readers nearby.  Enter the bookend...and a decorative accent to the book shelf.
Most collectible vintage or antique bookends fall into one of four categories: iron, spelter (alloy of zinc and lead...pot metal), solid bronze, and bronze-clad — other pairs were produced in alabaster, marble, onyx, gypsum, glass, pottery, and hardwood. Side note~there is an album from 1968 called “Bookends” produced in vinyl by Simon and Garfunkel-just in case you were looking for Mrs. Robinson!
Bookends are in most shops...sometimes you can overlook them because you may be looking at the books, or, as I have commented so often, today's buyers sometimes work on another level.  If they have a Kindle or a Nook, they are not thinking bookends. 
I leave you with words by an author whose books are probably on many devices...Stephen King...“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”  

1 comment:

Guernsey Girl said...

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