I haven't made a habit of sharing other blogs on this one, but I am compelled to do so today as I think this post, by one of my favorite blog writers, Seth Godin, is profound on a subject that concerns all of us avid book readers and authors.
The End of Books
After reading Seth's post, I started reflecting on the nostalgia that emerges when I think about books, realizing that these were my first true love as a young child. My mother taught me to read at the age of three, which led to my exasperating many early teachers.
My two most exhilarating early experiences were going to Leary's Bookstore just off Market Street on 9th (riding the 11th Street trolley, which stopped on my corner), and walking to my closest public library, four blocks from my South Philly home on Broad Street.
Leary's lasted 119 years from 1850 to 1969, and I was struck by a sentence in this article from Philadelphia's own Saturday Evening Post, "If you love books themselves, you may have chosen the wrong century to live in." Leary's Book Store
One amazing thing I remember vividly about Leary's was that it was wedged in between two sections of the giant Gimbel Brother's Department Store. The story was that the owners of Leary's refused to sell and Gimbel's had to build around it. I remember buying used hardcover copies of the Tom Swift, Hardy Boys, and Oz books for 35 cents each. Every trip to Leary's was a joy that makes me a bit sad for today's generation missing out on that kind of adventure.
At the library, a milestone for me was reaching the age of twelve, for that meant I could have an adult library card and take out twelve books at a time. I carried a large shopping bag to accomplish this and walked on air the four blocks back home in anticipation of spreading the books out on the living room carpet and deciding which one to begin reading first. That milestone was more important by far to me than hitting sixteen and getting my driver's license.
Books were not only my first true love, but are the main reason I am so grateful that I was born in the last century instead of this one. This despite the fact that I do love my Kindle and all the access the Internet provides to new reading formats like blogs.
Do check out my other blog inspired by my most popular book:
The Moneylove Blog