3 reasons I love old books. Let me know yours.

  • Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A book is a book is a book. Funny thing though: I noticed that lately I am gravitating to old books. A trip to the bookstore always give me a thrill ... but a trip to the thrift store or a garage sale give me more than a chill of anticipation. Who knows what beautiful old books await?

Why, I wonder? I pondered:

Old books capture an era. Old cover designs tell stories of their own. The fonts used, the illustration or artwork, or the photography tell plenty. You know if something is vintage 70s. Or whether a book is more valuable in so many little details like its cover,  the binding, the weight of the paper, and the artisanal quality. I've lusted after too many that would break the bank but there are a few out there that have wormed its way into lesser expensive venues just waiting be be discovered.

1958 edition of E.M. Forster's Where Angels Fear to Tread

Old books feel loved. They have history. Sometimes, scribbled little things both inside and outside add to their charm. New ones are beautiful too and there is nothing like making a new book my own. But I love getting an old book because it makes me feel that the imprint of the previous readers somehow have left a piece of their souls on it: Did someone sigh when I sighed at that one passage? Did someone lay down the book and take a deep breath reading through an emotional chapter? Did someone love it as much as I did?

1953 edition of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Old books make me connected to a wonderful history of reading. Books have existed even before Gutenberg set out to conquer the reading world with the printing press in 1450. That's close to 600 years. Can we just let that sink in for a minute? Pretty amazing, don't you think?

How do those yellowed pages make you feel? Do you love old or new books? Or does this just not even matter to you?

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall