Is the printed book in danger of dying? David Streitfeld examines the controversy in his recent article in the New York Times. I cannot imagine life without books—stacks of them are everywhere in our house and bookshelves are nearly over-flowing, but M and I make frequent reference to so many of them. Bookmarks can be seen in many of our books, marking a place to return to, or an idea or image to re-examine. Perhaps it is in the turning of the tangible page, and then stopping to look and dwelling upon a paragraph, a word, or a photograph. Some days, I take the liberty of leaving books open on the studio table, making a tableau. It is the constancy, the presence, the sheer physicality of the book that draws me back and propels me to open them up, to travel over their pages once more.
Not only do our bookshelves hold inspiration, but with the modern world wide web, there are also blogs to read and podcasts to listen to, portals to many worlds. I regularly turn to a few for gathering of information and for further stimulus. Here are a few from my virtual reading list:
Colonial Cooking: Historic Cookery, Adventures in late 18th & 19th Century foodways: http://historiccookery.com
Fieldstone Common interviews with authors and historians who bring history alive: http://www.fieldstonecommon.com
SilkDamask–a scholar writes about historical costumes with a modern perspective: http://silkdamask.blogspot.com
18th-century American Women. Portraits and paintings of women: http://b-womeninamericanhistory18.blogspot.com
A modern broadside with a historical emphasis. Sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society: http://www.common-place.org
As long as books are printed, I will be a reader, but it only seems right to take advantage of both worlds.
David Streitfeld’s article in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/02/technology/e-books-hold-tight-to-features-of-their-print-predecessors.html?hpw&rref=business