I wonder what it was like to be alive at the time of Gutenberg and the introduction of the printing press almost 600 years ago. The amazement at the ability to mass produce something that we all now take for granted…the written word would have been revolutionary. For the first time in history…books could be afforded by the masses and education was no longer something that was a privilege of the wealthy and aristocracy. Today I look at this technology and think of my mother who has been in the printing industry most of her adult life, printing books, flyers, invoices and basically everything except money for the better part of my own 42 years…but now the printed word seems eclipsed by the use of digital media…and I am guilty of falling in love with this too!
For me though, books have been a part of my life since a very young age. I fell in love with the small town Library when I was very young and would read everything I could get my hands on, one summer I even read the Collier’s Encyclopedia that my parents bought just because it was there in the living room. Today though, despite having a fairly eclectic collection of books:
My collection of printed books has been greatly eclipsed by the number of digital books that I have acquired over time (and have also trimmed down substantially as the relevance of the topics and my ability to read them all has waned):
I have decided though that I do want to get back into my world of the printed word. As convenient as it is to be able to keep over 3000 volumes on a hard drive and transfer them to and from my tablet for convenience, there is truly nothing more enjoyable than opening up a real book. Especially old books…so I will be heading off to the used book stores of London to expand my collection over the next several months with the goal of having as many printed volumes as digital volumes…it will be a challenge and in a small apartment like I have…storage will become a premium…but the knowledge and information and history…nothing is beats them…but it is also important to remember that all those books started out from humble beginnings of being printed by true craftsmen: