Saturday, June 3, 2023

Ex -- Ex Libris

 My crazy translation: Formerly -- From the Library of...

When I was a child, when given a book as a present, the first thing you did was write your name on the first page opposite the front cover.  When you were older you bought a bunch of bookplates to paste to the inside front cover of all of them.  It usually said, "Ex Libris" in a fancy script, then you wrote your nam on the line below.  

By the time you were an adult, you actually had a collection worthy of being called a small, personal library featuring some classics of literature plus leading works and reference books in whatever profession you prepared for in college.  And the homes of your grandparents' generation housed bookcase after bookcase in the living rooms or dens.

Today, of course, you can access any book you want via the internet and read it on your computer.

I've just downsized and moved into a townhome after donating carton after carton of books to Goodwill.  Not only is there no space for all of them but they're really heavy to move!  I still have more books and bookcases than I should, crammed into too little space.  The Goodwill donations will be ongoing for a while. 

It is with great sadness that I have given up the concept of building and maintaining a true "personal library".  Nobody does that anymore.  Computers and smartphones make any book accessible anywhere, anytime.  But for me there's just nothing like settling down with a bound copy on paper.