I know we've been hearing about the death of the book for years, but I still lust after volumes, cloth, paper, big, boggy and old, with tattered yellow pages, svelte and new with a shiny cover, I love to hold them in my hands, open and smell their fragrance, turn their pages with a clip or a lingering hand. I love, I lust, I collect, I beg, borrow, and (forgetfully) steal (fail to return a much-loved volume to a generous lender).
My home is rich and weighted down with books: they beckon from every room, shelves heaped high, tottering, stacked on rumpled duvets, side tables, spilling onto rugs and floors, getting lost, pages splayed under beds.
Listen to Shelagh Rogers, host of "The Next Chapter" airing Saturdays on CBC at 3 p.m.
"It's like opening a bottle of wine and pulling the cork out. I crack the book, I crack the back, I crack the spine, and I love the smell that comes out... I can go and read it under a tree, or on the beach, or on a ferry, or in my room. It's a link to the past, holding this object in your hands."
Here's why you will never see me (or Shelagh Rogers I trust) reading a classic or the next best latest IT book on on my iphone (don't have one) or blackberry (don't possess one) or some device made for same, recommended by Oprah in her "That's Great" feature.
For Chanukah, give me books, books, and more books. My jewels. The new Bolano perhaps in a paperback set, a beautiful old illustrated Dickens, someone new you think I would love. Surprise me...with a book.
So let's celebrate the book in all its sensuality.
Read, read, read.