Sunday, November 24, 2013

Double Folds

Remember when I fell in love with Nicholson Baker and said I would have to get hold of Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, his book about saving bound newspapers and other written materials on paper instead of pretending that paper is brittle and decomposing before our very eyes and thus microfilming stuff and just disposing of the originals any which way? Well, I looked up, and there it was on the shelf over my computer, with other books in the I-love-this, I-need-to-read-this-soon, and/or I-am-in-the-middle-of-reading-this (because it is essays, or interviews, or chapters on a topic) categories.

So I read it, and I liked it, and I have always hated microfilm, but now I hate it even more. What a wild story about libraries and chemicals and the military and explosions! It's from 2001 (and a first edition--hey, don't assault my dustjacket!) and publishing and technology have already moved off into the digital world, but I still love books that are books that I can carry around the house and leave in stacks here and there and forget, for a while, on the shelf over my head.

And even this nonfiction book on books and libraries has moments of hilarity, just like The Anthologist and The Fermata, the two novels of his that I've read so far.

Speaking of hilarity, today I reread "SantaLand Diaries" by David Sedaris from Barrel Fever for the upcoming meeting of book group. There will be a Christmas tree, and maybe James Taylor in the background (as a Sedaris counterweight). Anyhoo, it's cold here!

1 comment:

seana graham said...

It's funny, but I just read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter for my reading group and one of the things that marks the book as from a very different era is the way that Biff the café owner has twenty years worth of newspapers catalogued in the back room. Does anyone still do this?