Can I get a rousing AMEN BROTHER! from the congregation? :-D
"I have always felt that it was commendable to buy books. I grew up with a liking for reading my own books, instead of someone else's. This preference I still have. I have my books strictly for use. I turn down the pages. I even tear out a few, if I need them. Books that I really use are much the worse for wear when I get through with them. I always mark them. When I read one of them a second time, which I seldom do, I generally can't remember what I meant by the marks I put in it the first time. But it gives you a feeling of having dug deep into the book, and it intensifies your sense of the ownership of it, to make big black marks down the side of it as you read. So I have always felt that one should buy as many books as possible. They are not like food, of which one should buy only as much as one can consume at the moment. Nor like clothes, of which a wise man will buy as few and as cheap as he can get by with. But of books he should buy all he can."
Rev. Carl S. Patton's opening paragraph in THE BUYING OF BOOKS from the Feb. 1922 issue of The Atlantic Monthly ( Must be a member of the website to read the article.).
I read this paragraph and see myself...
I love reading books that I choose to read and that I own and I used to turn down the pages until I got religion and converted to using certain types of colored paperclips.
The author, admits to being occasionally ashamed of his addiction, and shares with his readers the many ways he's come up with to find legitimate reasons to lug another tome home... :-D
There is the "seasonal inscription" method.
There is the "take a bunch, just purchased, to church, spread them around the shelves, then wait a few weeks" method.
There are several other choice methods sprinkled throughout this absolutely fascinating article.
The author talks of the designs, and costs of various books he cherishes or hankers after.
The author talks of the books of his childhood, and how he became a bookaholic (my term) right out of Seminary, and how that first set of books caused him to write sermons that well.... read the article. ;-D
He goes on, at length, about how he came to realize that waiting to buy a new book until after the current one is finished, while economically sensible, wasn't the best way to become a cultured man in ones lifetime. ;-D
He touchingly admits to what all bookaholics feel about their growing collection: He can't bear to part with any of them, and does so only with extreme reluctance.
It is quite fun to read why he bought certain types of books and what it was that caught his attention, and a little bit about their contents (He bought WHO'S WHO so he could see how many of his friends were in it!).
The titles he mentions having read and having in his collection read like a who's who of American and world literature, from the famous to the obscure.
I agree with the good Reverend's observation that, "we should all be grateful for a certain perversity in human nature. In my own case, what doubles the pleasure of reading is the subconscious feeling that I ought, most of the time, to be doing something else."
If, like me, you love books then you will love this 80 year old magazine article.
I've joind the New Year's Day Trackback Party over at Stop The ACLU as a way to share this story and spread the word that the love of books is still cool in the 21st Century. ;-D