Book Nostalgia

It was reported by several news outlets on April 29, 2014, that Harper Lee who authored the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” has agreed allow the book to be available to the public in EBook format on July 8 2014, which is the 54th anniversary of the original publication release date.

As a young fifty year old, I consider myself between the tail end of the baby boomers generation and the other in the world of technology. I grew up reading books the old fashion way as I recently heard someone say. However over the past three years I have amassed a book library of 278 plus novels I maintain on my iPad2. Although most are the classics for which I believe everyone should read. I feel proud of my electronic library of books without the traditional library room in a home.

When I visit a bookstore or library I know with today’s cloud technology I often say to myself, “they will all be mine”. I do love the textured feel of a new book, in either hard cover or paperback. As I hold a new book in my hand I love the crackling sounds made when opening for the first time, and of course the smell. This is all really a transcending experience that takes me back in time to the days spent at my hometown library, bookmobile, or college library reading books in between the stacks. I’m sorry for the trip down my bit of nostalgia, I will get back on point.

My love of history recently found me researching books, dating back two or three hundred years ago when books were the gold standard of knowledge for which mostly kings and clergy maintained possession of these important pieces of gold. In the early days of books peasants and laypeople were not allowed to maintain books and most people were unable to read.

 However around the 1440’s the printing press began its incursion and the industrial age of printers began printing people’s thoughts and prose for all to read. Someone seeing a book for their first time during this time period would be the equivalent of people of today viewing an iPad or laptop.

Over time people of influence began acquiring books and thus began the era of personal libraries. In my life time I have seen movie and television actors comment that they will be in the library, and the sight of a large room filled with books that I often thought that they have read all of the books in the library. I always wonder what it would be like to one day have a home with a library. However once I bought the house, and began raising my family I had no time for reading or a library.

With today’s technology, it is possible for me to maintain a personal library of hundreds of books on a device with the dimensions of a medium size book yet thin as a magazine. The nostalgia of holding one book in my hands is slowly being replaced with the ability to hold my entire personal library in the palm of one hand.

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