Curious Trends


Biblophilia and the battle for books

If ‘libraries’ are being moved to pubs and supermarkets, there’s probably no better time to become a bibliophile.

Even Niall Ferguson, author of ‘Men Money and Morality’ about Siegmund Warburg, the great German-Jewish financier, claims he doesn’t like to possess things, “except books.”

Personally, I wouldn't bank on the future value of the designer books popularly known as ‘luxury lit’ whereby, according to The Wall Street Journal “Publishers are marketing elaborate editions with all sorts of pricey features, banking on them to grow in value like rare coins or artworks.”

However, if you’re looking to invest in serious literature, first editions and potential heirlooms, you can probably depend upon Maggs Bros Rare Books to find you something – at an appropriately rarified price.

And Wikipedia explains how you can even collect virtual books:

“Virtual book collecting can be described as collecting books in a digital format (virtually) on a computer or other electronic device. A bibliophile may acquire ebooks by downloading them, or copying from borrowed media (CDs and DVDs, for example). However, this may violate copyright law, depending on the license under which the ebook is released. Ebooks acquired from Project Gutenberg and many similar free collections are legal as they post books which have either outrun their copyright, are released under the appropriate Creative Commons license, or are in some other form public domain.”

Anyway, I’d like to know if anyone’s got an old copy of Farenheit 451? This much misinterpreted Bradbury novel explored the effects of television and mass media on the reading of literature and is described by the author as “a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature”. In Bradbury’s view, the culprit wasn’t the state, but the people.

Take note.

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