“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Is this why Barnes and Noble is up for sale?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I saw this in a hip retail store in Nashville. What's your reaction?
As an author, it bothered me. Seemed almost a little disrespectful of books. Have books become so retro that we're using them as furniture? Does having a desk of books make you feel smarter? After all, you're studying atop an almost infinite supply of wisdom.

It's not the first time I've seen books treated with disrespect. I remember meeting someone who owned a small bookstore in suburban Chicago. She got a call once from a decorator who asked her how much she charged for a "yard of books." And they only wanted nice ones, hardcover, please, with plenty of shades of green. Emerald, if possible.

Consider phone books. When was the last time you picked up a phone book? They're shrinking in size every year for good reason; they are unnecessary. When I need a referral for a service worker (plumber, etc.) I put out the call on facebook: "Attention all SWFlorida friends. Who has a roofer they trust?" And the facebook community comes through every time.

I am not a Luddite. I have a Droid phone and I really like my Kindle for traveling on the road when I want to pack lightly. (Incidentally, I just discovered a way to safely take ebooks to the beach: put them in a gallon-size Ziploc bag. The buttons work fine through the plastic, and no problem with sand.)

But books being used as furniture? What's next? My guess: catalog companies will started shredding and using them for packing material.

Stand up for books, people! Treat them with respect. Don't make them your beasts of burden. Make them your beasts of pleasure.


Anonymous Eileen Chalmers said...

There are "yards" of books not worth reading Ad. Perhaps they made the furniture out of those books.

November 16, 2010 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Libby McMillan said...

Ad, I worked in a library for a few summers, and spent my days teaching little kids not to break the spine of a book by opening it too far. It still makes me crazy to see people writing in books with ink, or heedlessly breaking their spines, or exercising other "catastrophic" judgment. LOL
BTW, I agree with you about using books as furniture. Makes me squirm.

November 16, 2010 at 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Michele Albion said...

'Makes me want to pull out a book--from the bottom.

November 16, 2010 at 4:28 PM  

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