Friday, April 27, 2007

Pretty Books

For the past week or so at work I've been working with books as opposed to computer records. When these books begin to deteriorate, we either prep them to be rebound, repair them ourselves, or prep and measure them for archival boxes.

While most of the books I work with are older and seriously damaged, I realized something: What happened to the book as art form? What happened to the embossed covers, the leather binding, the marbled boards, the gilt edging? Modern, mass-produced books, by comparison, are ugly.

I love books - not just reading them, but also the construction of them. It actually pains me to buy books today because there is not artistry to them anymore - plain boards, no design, and half the time the covers (dust jacket or paperback) are just hideous.

I think I'm in the minority, but I would be willing to pay more for a nice, embossed, and leather-bound book. Granted, it would have to be a book that I know I would want to add to my library - but I'd like the option to be there.

Am I alone on this?

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

No you are not alone. I love beautiful hardcover books. But I admit that a book has to be really good for me to want to invest in a hardcover book for my permanent collection. I usually stick to cheap copies of books and then sell them back to the used bookstore when I am done.

Meghan said...

As you know, I've gotten to the point where, since I have no more bookshelf space, I've made a decision: I will only buy books (to keep) by certain authors or in certain genres. Everything else is going to be from the library or paperbacks I can throw up on paperbackswap.com.