Insights from practitioners in Information Management

Bookshops and libraries and why no-one bought me any books for Christmas

Books to me are like old friends to be met lots of times in many different places and guises. That’s why I love libraries, especially old ones. Call me a romantic, call me stupid, but I think of how many people “my” books have made friends with over the years. How much joy, laughter and tears they have shared over endless cups of tea, jammy dodgers and glasses of wine.

Bookshops on the other hand, contain lots of books who don’t have any real friends yet. Nodding acquaintances certainly, but not yet treasured friends. They sit silently waiting for the day they can leap into someone’s hand like a puppy at a kennel after being chosen as THE one to take home. As you read that did you feel the book’s “tail” wagging just a little? Don’t worry you’ll soon be so engrossed you won’t remember what day it is. Puppies err I mean books are like that.

Have you noticed that your book friends (not your bookish friends) are just like their human counterparts? Some are prim and proper while others are dog eared and charming. Others you return to time and time again while a few you may only see once in a while, but when you do renew your friendship it’s like no time has passed at all.

I buy and give books, lots of books every year.  There were colouring and activity books for the youngsters, journals for the teens and young adults. Then there were party cake books for the young mums and books from the latest TV shows for their parents. When I was younger and still living at home books were always first on my list for birthday’s and Santa days, consequently I’ve got things like the complete works of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and William Shakespeare. I’ve also got a still wrapped complete set of the Chronicles of Narnia.

And I wrote, all the time, well except when I wasn’t reading that is. Poetry, adventure stories, long letters to friends. Journaling, technical writing and of course blogs, websites, books and articles would come later. But my love of words continues and it irks me when I see the crass and the vulgar, the misspelled and grammatically incorrect postings littering the social media world. Why, when we have such wondrous language do people not use it.

You would also think my house and office would be stacked high with bound bits of paper, but not so. In recent times I’ve reduced my collection dramatically, but gained a new medium. I’ve joined the e-book revolution with the reading apps on my tablet. Not only do I find new ones to download, I’ve started re-purchasing my favourites in electronic format. Do I still buy hard copy versions – of course I do, I have to, they are part of what makes me, well me. Besides which I didn’t receive any books this year, though like I said, I gave away a lot of them. I suppose people would wonder what to buy me…well they could always ask, I do have a list.

With many thoughts

Lorraine (Elle)