I am a bibliomaniac and I have passed the gene onto my daughter.
Nicholas A. Basbanes titled his tome about the passion A Gentle Madness. A fine name for an exquisite affliction.
We both have those books that are tired and worn, read many times over, and sitting in a special section of the bookshelf reserved for well loved books.
One prized gem is the first edition Man O’ War by Walter Farley, a gift from my parents at 10 years old when I knew I could talk them into keeping a horse out in the back. Living in town was not a deterrent, I being convinced it was all so possible. The hardcover sits with the Breyer horse from my dad in consolation that Christmas.
And the paperback of Nine Tomorrows by Issac Asimov in my possession since high school, its brittle pages restricting any further outings in my purse. A meeting with (and a sweet kiss from) the author just adds more color to our history together.
My girl has her own touchstones, books as much a part of her life as her threadbare Sammy. These are the boxes we carry from place to place. They are the first into the van, and the reason everyone must have a bookshelf in their first apartment. After that, they have become a piece of your soul.
I say someone needs to develop and perfect a new techie book vault. Filled with the precious cargo, I would aim a hand-held unit at it to shrink it to a small key in my hand, transporting it to be refreshed at a new location.
I am aware that we already have the ability to carry libraries on tablets and cell phones. Thank you, Kindle. I use the program all the time. But that’s just convenience so I don’t have to carry each of Ken Follett’s three pound Century Trilogy books around (and I can read on the sly.) I need the paper, the physical relic that can share reflected memories of my heart by just a touch, a look, a musty scent.
Hermione Granger placed an Undetectable Extension Charm on her purse during the Second Wizarding War. When I saw her pulling books out of that thing, I knew it needed to exist.
That’s what I want. Apple, let’s get on it. That and Star Trek’s Transporter. I’m so over flying.