A to Z Challenge: B is for …

just happens to be for my friend, fellow Florida Writers Association member, fellow Palm City Word Weavers member, and award-winning author Bette Lee Crosby, whose site at Bette Lee Crosby‘s Books & Inspirational Stories contains links for her books Spare Change and Cracks in the Sidewalk, together with news of Bette’s upcoming books, great author interviews, book reviews, and other items of interest!

Bette lay claim to the letter B when I started my alphabet challenge, and it seems only fitting since it’s the first letter in her name 🙂  So, Bette, this post is for you!

B also is for books!

Books — or collections in one place of commonly-recognizable symbols — date back to the time of the Sumerians and their use of Cuneiform symbols on clay tablets.  It’s said that some tablets even had their own form of envelopes. It’s probably a good thing that there wasn’t yet an established postal service. Can you imagine how much weight the poor postal delivery person would have to lug — and the resultant Worker’s Compensation claims?!

Despite the current, rapidly-growing world of e-publishing, there’s just something about a paper book. Having loved books from a very early age, thanks to my parents’ influence and later to that of some great teachers, I know I’ll never lose my desire to hold a book in my hands, to feel its heft, to admire the type, to gaze at the pictures.

There are some books in my collection that I have lugged around for years. I’ve packed and unpacked them, cussing at times, I’m sure, at their weight as I packed them, then gazing upon them reverently again as I unpacked each one and found just the right place on the shelf. One book, a gift from my parents when I was probably around ten years old, is of the poetry of Walt Whitman. It’s printed on glossy paper — illustrations on left-hand pages and poems on the right — and, despite its age, it still has its original dust jacket.

Several other glossy-paper books are from my college years when I minored in art history. It’s hard to imagine what it must cost to be an art history minor or, worse yet, major, these days! I pulled one of the volumes from its shelf the other day to look something up. As I opened the front cover, I noticed stamped inside the price from the FSU bookstore: $45.00. Forty-five dollars?!? I hate to admit it, but I purchased that book around forty years ago! It’s still considered one of the reference “Bibles” for art history, so what must that book cost today? Do they sell books on the installment plan?

No matter their cost, though, I still adore my books, and many of them are like old friends. You may not hear from them often, but when you do, it’s as if you’ve never been out of touch 🙂 So, yes, I’ve adapted (begrudgingly, I’ll admit it) — to the electronic age and to e-books, but, I thank the Chinese for being the first to make paper and to enable us to have paper books. Except, maybe, when I move.

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10 Responses to A to Z Challenge: B is for …

  1. Archon's Den says:

    Ode to books, and owed to books. Like your others, another charming and informative post, on B. I anticipate the Balance.

  2. Couldn’t help but glance over at the things you blog about and notice Books, Blogging, Blessings and Bureaucracy! Both the Beautiful and the Bothersome! 🙂 Brilliant Blog Candice!

  3. ronfritsch says:

    Candice, books are a wonderful entry for B. Thanks to those Sumerians for dreaming up writing and making books possible. I love books so much I’ll take them in any form they come in — stone, papyrus, paper, electronic. Like you, Candice, I’ll always love the paper books I grew up with, but the stories they tell — they’re what count to me. (I also love that picture above.)

    • cwc6161 says:

      Makes you wonder what the Sumerians would think of e-books, doesn’t it? 😉 You’re right on target about the stories, Ron — they’re definitely what counts but they seem, somehow, more wonderful on paper.

  4. I think it’s a shame that kids won’t get to experience the whole book order process in school. I remember getting the weekly reader book order form and anxiously waiting from the time I placed the stamped envelope in the mail until the teacher called my name to the front of the class to pick up my bundle of books. That is an experience a child will never forget.

  5. I so agree with you. I love books. I haven’t bought a Kindle because I love the whole experience of opening a book, thumbing through the pages, etc. There really is just something about a book.

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