One time I bought a book by accident. Kind of. I wanted a complete edition of the short stories of Ray -- my Carver library being heavy on his poetry and shorter on his prose (at the time). I one-clicked a complete short-story collection kind of thing, reasonably priced, new, wasn't paying a whole lot of attention. What arrived was not just a book, but a work of art with form and function, a bibliographic treasure. A throwback book, with a gold-embossed slip-case, cloth-covered in 'Brillianta, a woven rayon cloth made by Van Heck-Scholco Textielfabrieken, Holland,' beautifully typeset in '10-point Linotron Galliard, a face designed for photocomposition by Matthew Carter and based on the sixteenth-century face Granjon.' The paper is 'acid-free lightweight opaque and meets the requirements for permanence of the American National Standards Institute.' Designed by Bruce Campbell, a true artist. As long as people treasure books, so beautiful books will be produced, on paper, and digitally as well, in new ways, as well as old. Print on demand, 3D printing -- who knows what technology will do for the way we print and consume books? Why worry about books? This beautiful book thing exists in my hands, and ANSI has promised me it's not going anywhere soon.
We like things old and new