As I spoon into my latest tub of Serendipity ice cream (much to the regret of my waistline), I have been reading on the future of the book in digital. Craig Mod has put together a nice piece on the benefits of digital: both in terms of disposable books (a fair chunk of most fiction) and keepable books ie in the digital age; printed books will have their own significance and appreciation. I think this manages to capture my own approach: my fetish with regard to nice editions yet my desire for something portable and light to read.
For some books and authors, I am keen to have a nicely bound edition, but for the most part, what I read are disposable books. Books that are nice to see on the shelf, but ultimately, I am less likely to treasure or read again. Though “reading again” is not necessarily a boundary in terms of books I want in print. Reading once, in a nice edition, is often sufficient. Though I realised last night that if my home were to burn down, I already have too many nice books to grab and save – better to let them burn and start afresh once more I think. Speaking of which, I really must get round to contents insurance one of these days. Touch wood.
With all that said, and my predilection for things bound nicely, I have decided not to get my nicely bound edition of Gaiman’s Neverwhere. I’ve not read it but Gaiman has become one of my favourite writers and I do have some lovely editions of others of his works. As I’m trying to arrest my rate of spending and perhaps save some money for a change I managed to refrain, though at leastt in part because I am hoping to buy the cheaper versions of The Club Dumas and The Martian Chronicles. The latter particularly as it’s going to be a comprehensive gathering of all related tales – including one of my favourite stories from primary school: “Dark They Were And Golden Eyed”. Whereas The Club Dumas, is a book I’ve read, having seen the Polanski movie on which it is based, starring Johnny Depp, The Ninth Gate. Fond of both, I’d sorta like a nice edition of the book…which I will re-read. So too, the same Press, Subterranean Press, is doing a nice hardcover of a favourite Oz Author, Terry Dowling. I have several of his in paperback and not read any of what will be contained in this volume…and it is a reasonable price, rather than an “eep!” price.
In other areas, I have managed to get in to the 2010 Ideas Forum at the National Library. Once again, they have an interesting lineup of speakers, and already I am already aware of several friends and colleagues attending. My boss has been very supportive of my attending such, as it contributes to my own professional development. I’ve gotten better at asking for stuff rather than waiting for stuff to happen. Not only that, the trip coincides with some friends going to Melbourne for the Mueck exhibition, which I mentioned to my boss and as a result I’ll be working in Melbourne for the following week as well. Serendipity.