Sunday, January 13, 2008

A friend's ghost library

My friend Peggy has a few thoughts on lost books due to Katrina.

I've got this shared up on my RSS shared feed, but I keep turning over the image of ghost books in my head. Practically, I know that the wiping of so many physical objects is a cruel crude effective de-cluttering tool. Missing books, by and large, are a problem that you can solve with enough money.

But a book is more than the words inside. You pick it up, and your fingers remember the crease of the pages, or that typo, or the mis-cut paper on page 105. You start to think about when you purchased it, and where you've taken it, and who you knew when you last read it. A book persists.

But the ghost of a book? Gaiman's Sandman series posits the Library of Dream, the place where you can find every book never written.

Do books have an afterlife?

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