Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
As I have stated before, books are a very large part of my life. When you love to read, you can’t live without them.
I was glancing through my emails today and came across one that made me rather sad, but also curious.
There is a very nice used book store in Olathe. After all, the fact that someone has read a book before it comes into your possession doesn’t take anything away from the book at all. I don’t mind a good deal on a book I want to read. I still get the full value of the words no matter what the price. Anyway they sent an email, because they deal in great numbers of used books, about buying them for display purposes. What? For display? Now I will say, when someone is being interviewed on television, I look to see what is behind them on the bookshelves.
Try it sometime. If Mr. Big shot is running for say, well president, what are the titles on display in the background? There may not even be a bookcase, but if there is…. Do you want someone who has books titled “How to keep them women in the kitchen” on that shelf? Or even “People of many colors, not in my neighborhood?” No you want smart books, books that make people think in positive ways about solutions for our nation and our cities.
Now I know these days most of the books behind these folks being interviewed are staged, just like homes for sale. Titles strategically placed to make the person appear smart and thoughtful, even possibly sympathetic to our favorite causes. They are right at eye level behind the chair, large printed spines.
But back to the email. It was an opportunity to buy books by the yard. Actually pick your color, and pay a fee, let’s say $50.00, to get 3 feet of books. Or even 3 feet of law books, doctors reference books etc.
I have always felt that if you buy a book, you read the book. Just my outlook on life. That isn’t saying that I don’t have my fair share of unread novels. I am easily lured by a pretty cover with fancy writing. Or possibly a title that just needs more explanation. There are also one or two books on my shelves that, not remembering the author’s name, I purchased off the discount shelf. Only to discover later they were not what I wanted to read. At some point those volumes will travel back to the book store to be recycled.
I am saddened by the thought folk’s just want them for color and for display.
If you sat me in front of my book shelves, well I would be sitting on the floor. In the picture behind me, you would see Darwin’s Origin of the species. I am pretty proud of that one. Several books on chickens, coops and breeds. How to books, on training puppies, mostly unread. Plus lots of fiction and scary stuff.
My books are 98 % read. I buy them and read them. If they are worthy, I keep them. If not, they get recycled at this point. I always wanted a library with barrister bookcases. Even shelves from ceiling to floor. Probably not going to happen.
I am tempted to buy a “yard of books” in various colors. I feel like there are probably stories and titles I have long overlooked that would be very good and memorable reads. Maybe next time I have extra cash I will do just that.