Sunday, March 22, 2009

This is a call (still Rebecca)

Due to what I am choosing to interpret as public demand, there will be a sequel to Books Are Our Friends. I've taken about half the pictures for it already, but it occurs to me that Thirsty readers probably have some excellent ideas of their own on the topic of book friendship. If you'd like to send me a correct/incorrect concept, I'll try to make it happen on-camera (within reason; we all know that books are not marital aids). If you'd like to go it one better and actually take the correct/incorrect pictures for yourselves, I'd be happy to receive any sort of normal digital picture format. Ideas and pics can be sent to my email address,

And if that's all a bit too much involvement for you but you still have a yen for a very insignificant shot at fame, let me know next time you see me. I'll more than likely have my camera, a book, and a strange idea for you to execute.

I live in hope!



Cynthia Flood said...

Hi Rebecca --

Looking at your dramatic photos of books in serious trouble,I was reminded of a great essay by Anne Fadiman in her book "Ex Libris." The piece is called "Never Do That To A Book" and begins like this:

"When I was eleven and my brother was thirteen, our parents took us to Europe. At the Hotel d'Angleterre in Copenhagen, Kim left a book facedown on the bedside table. The next afternoon, he returned to find the book closed, a piece of paper inserted to mark the page, and the following note, signed by the chambermaid, resting on the cover:


My brother was stunned. How could it have come to pass that he--a reader so devoted that he'd sneaked a book and a flashlight under the covers at his boarding school every night after lights-out, a crime punishable by a swat with a wooden paddle--had been branded as someone who didn't love books? I shared his mortification. I could not imagine a more bibliolatrous family than the Fadimans. Yet, with the exception of my mother, in the eyes of the young Ranish maid we would all have been found guilty of book abuse.

During the next 30 years I came to realize that just as there is more than one way to love a person, so is there more than one way to love a book. The chambermaid believed in courtly love."

Fadiman goes on to bookmarks, stains,splaying, door-stops,using pen or pencil in margins, etc., all in the context of the courtly/carnal debate. Hope you can find her essay.You'd enjoy it I think.

Cynthia Flood

Rebecca Rosenblum said...

Hi Cynthia,

I shall go in search of that essay; thanks for the recommendation! It sounds wonderful, though I'm hardly courtly with my books (I make people stand on them, throw them in sinks, etc.)