bibliophilia

my mother
read every book
in the public library
in card catalog order
one summer
starting with fiction
authors “A”
and ending
at the reference section

addiction passes
from one generation
to the next
and her fever
flamed me
impossible to measure

and I burned through
a book a day
and still do
if it is fiction

though now
I do it scrolling titles
on an electronic screen
instead of turning
bound paper

harder to set goals
or make a statement
when what is read
no longer lines a shelf
in a long challenge
or curls under your arm
announcing mindset
without any mouth opening;
the pages sighing out
scents of ink, dust
and fingerprints

less personal

the way I read now
pages that blink
rather than turning;
fade into each other
with a finger tap

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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27 Responses to bibliophilia

  1. mimijk says:

    Though I am a Kindle owner, there is still nothing more enjoyable and seductive as holding a book and immersing myself in its story.

  2. boomiebol says:

    I can so relate to this :). Very nice

  3. doncarroll says:

    good one susan. i only have books. read the small stuff online:)

  4. Rhonda says:

    Love my Kindle for reasons of download quickly…however, will NEVER stop with the books. If I like what I see on my Kindle, and it’s available, I buy the book. My library runeth over, but don’t care…will spill to other rooms. Great story of your Mom, she sounds like she was a wonder, in so many ways. Daughter, fell not far from that tree.

    • awww–thanks! She was a bit more impatient/quicker to yell than I am (I think–I will have to ask my kids that one), but she definitely passed down her love of words.

      • Rhonda says:

        Our explosiveness is reactive…to the times…it will settle. This…you must trust me on. The kids are happy and healthy (even if one of them won’t eat green) and know intuitively where the impatience comes from.

  5. Deborah Avila says:

    I’ve never stopped buying books~ it has to fixed in my hand the very smell of the words! Wonderful Susan! XO

  6. Kindle kindly! Can Kindle replace the wonder of the book, the smell of the new book and the rustle of pages? can it? great poem, Susan. Great mum, and like Rhonda said, like mum, like daughter! Sending you two books by post but not on KINDLE!

    • Kindle is good for some things, but can never replace the sensory interaction with a book–ever. One also never has to charge a book with anything but the energy of the mind interacting with it.

      As to the other, duet partner–I am going to be lurking by the mailbox until they are delivered, I am that excited :)

      That is worth the wait–No Kindle, please–those are pages I want to TURN, not tap! Ooooooo–you are sending two?!? Lovely!

  7. Give me a phyiscal book to hold and feel in my hands and my day is made.

  8. I share your bibliophilia. I actually have not tried reading books digitally. I have quite a few a friend of mine has given to me, but I just can’t sit in front of a screen for that long. And I prefer a different kind of tactile pleasure when I read (not keys, no thank you).

    I’m all in favor of (and much prefer) books printed on recycled paper (but I’m predictable that way).

    • Jeremy–your predictability is shared and appreciated–I SO prefer delivery of language on (recycled) pages. I really do wish I enjoyed the electronic reading experience–but it is not pleasurably tactile (cannot “put my nose in it,” if you will), and produces eye strain. The Kindle was a gift–practical and thoughtful–but wrong for me on a level you, Celestine, and Noel are helping me express :)

      • My mother offered to buy me a Kindle for Chanukah a few years ago. She asked if it would be helpful for my work, among other things. I thanked her but I just couldn’t say yes. It isn’t that I am against the idea of digital books (I benefit from digitized records in my work all of the time). But like you said, it is something tactile, something visual (being good to my eyes), and it is also about keeping book sellers and the book trade alive. Certainly there are possible environmental benefits from the switch and I’m very open to those (of course). But I also find that I want to keep little booksellers alive too.

  9. What a reactive audience you have, Susan! I can only ad: WOW!

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