when books were real

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero


(Dad’s 1932 copy of Jack the Giant Killer / Julie Cook / 2017)

Not a voracious reader…
not a fast reader…
not always an interested reader….
but a reader none the less…

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…
oh how I do love books.

Real honest to goodness books.

No e-readers or iPads.
But the tangible, hold it in my hand, turn the page, smell that bookish
musty smell love of a book.

I know the arguments about books…
those being that books are expensive, cumbersome, heavy, accumulating,
outdated, hard to travel with… as the list goes on and on.

Hand a kid a “notebook”, iPad or something else equally electronic and techie
and you’ve got a quiet, occupied, engaged kid…

And sadly I suppose you do.

Engaging the mind you say.
Stimulating brain cells, building higher order thinking skills….
yet all the while lessening personal contact and personal connectivity.
As in isolation.

But there are those who will argue that that is exactly how it was
with a kid with a book.

There they’d sit for hours on end engrossed reading, alone…isolated….

…but oh what of that imagination building….
the dreams of those far away places, people and lands…
And what of the bonding that came from sitting next to someone special who would
read those tales and adventures as your mind raced off to a myriad of different
places and times…

These are a few of my dad’s books from the early 1930’s when he was just a young boy.
He was not a keen reader yet he loved a good story.
Those stories in those books would take that young boy to places other than
his own room.

Dad always treasured his books.

Having just recently rediscovered these books, I am awed by the color,
clarity and quality of these well loved childhood books.
They have remained relatively intact and are still very much treasured.

I can remember when I was a little girl as my dad would read these same books
to me each night before bed.
I couldn’t wait until he turned to the page with the pop-up image as my mind
and imagination would place me right down in the middle of the image and action—
making the story soar, becoming so much bigger then life…

Ode to the time when one’s imagination would take them on so many grand adventures….

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy,
and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Revelation 1:3

28 comments on “when books were real

  1. atimetoshare.me says:

    What a treasure you’re finding!

  2. Sarah says:

    Wow, they’re great. I wouldn’t be able to part with them either. 🙂

  3. Wyldkat says:

    This is vaguely reminiscent of a small debate in a writers group the other day. I was lamenting the dearth of reference books in our local libraries. I can find cd, dvd, what-not, but precious few books on the subjects I am researching. I got offers of good web sites, queries about if our library had e-books, even suggestions to use the interlibrary loan network. All very good suggestions of varying degrees of helpfulness, but most missed the point of my lament. I wanted to walk into a library, look up the topic (on the computer if not in a card catalog) then go pull books from the shelf. I didn’t want to put in a request and wait 2 – 4 days for the book to come in. I don’t want to read the information from a computer screen. I don’t want to read it on the kindle. I want the book today. I want to skim through it and see if it is of use to me, unlike a book I requested that turned out to be of no use for my research, and either check it out or scribble down notes.
    I grew up with real books. I had pop-up books, like the ones you show here. I’ve had picture books, chapter books and novels. I have a small collection of around 2 – 3 hundred books. I am used to doing my research with real books. I do own a e-reader, and it is useful, but I still want the real book. Besides, the battery on those has a finite life. The day will come when that technological wonder will cease to function. On that day, when the user to locked out of their books/games, I will still be able to pull a book from my shelve and read.

  4. Elaine Craig says:

    Thank you for the memories of having pop-up books in the collection. To me, they were, and still are, a treasure waiting to surprise as one turns the page.

  5. Lynda says:

    Wonderful treasures Julie! I just purchased a pop-up book for my little goddaughter the other day. I love to sit and read books to my grandchildren and I do like real books when I do research; however, I appreciate my Kindle when I’m travelling or waiting at an appointment – very convenient.
    Many years ago I was the librarian at a private school which was housed at the top of a grand old stone building – the library reminded me of a chapel with its treasure of books. It was amazing for me to be there!

  6. Salvageable says:

    I love books too. I still have my mother’s childhood copy of “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” (‘Twas the night before Christmas….) Beautiful illustrations!
    Somebody–Bill Gates or Steven Jobs or some other guy of that ilk–said that when elevators were invented builders did not stop putting staircases in their buildings. I don’t think books are going away in our lifetime, or even in the next century. J.

  7. SLIMJIM says:

    I too love books!!!!

  8. My boys and I so miss going to Barnes and Noble every week and me reading to them and having so much fun with the stories. The other children that were in there when we were, would sit and listen to me read to them too. Good, good times too soon gone. Even though they didn’t have Barnes and Noble bookstores when Nikki was a child, I began reading to her when she was six months old and read to her into her teens too. Love, N 🙂 ❤

  9. We adore real books here. Little Paddler cried the other night when I said that we were only reading one book instead of three. She completely missed the fact that she had picked out the longest book from her shelf and I would have read three books quicker than her one long one.
    But think how amazing if you will be able to read these books to your grandchild! Family heirlooms that feed the imagination in a way that tablets and phones can never do. What a gift for a child!

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