The time has come to rationalise the old tatty book collection. Some are going straight into the recycle bin, others are being put aside for the op shop. Do I need to keep Selected essays of G.K. Chesterton, inscribed 'With love to Aunt Mary, from Frank, Christmas 1952'? or Essays in satire (1954) - 'Wishing Aunt Mary a very happy and holy Christmas, Frank'? I think I probably do, because just reading the inscriptions brings back memories of Aunty Mary (we never called her 'Aunt' Mary) and Father Frank at Brougham Street, and the fun we had with our cousins playing British bulldog in the street, or jumping off the veranda into the lilies, something that was rather frowned upon by Grandma. Which probably goes to prove that a book is not necessarily just a book.
During the weeding process On liberty somehow survived (although other texts from Philosophy 101 were discarded), which was rather weird because a few days later John Stuart Mill came up in conversation and it turned out that Michael wanted to read it - easy! Which maybe proves that you never can tell when it might be a good idea to have a particular book to hand, even though you mightn't have even thought about it in the last 20 years or so.
Meanwhile I'm looking forward to getting an iPad when they're available. I've thought about the other options for ebook readers but I reckon it's worth waiting. I saw a man with a Kindle on the tram today. I haven't noticed any other ebook readers in the public transport system yet - maybe because I usually have my head buried in whichever James Lee Burke novel I've managed to find at the library! How cool it would be to have them all available in a reader so I could actually read them in order, instead of jumping all over the place in Robicheaux's family history according to what is available in the library at the time.