Friday, September 10, 2010

Word Geek Sadness

I have heard that the new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary may be published only online for paid members.
Only a few of my readers will understand the sadness this brings me, but I will try to explain it.
When I was little my Ma and The Sperm Donor owned the Unabridged OED. (I believe it might have been the student edition, which is less well-made and cheaper to buy.) It was a thing of great beauty to behold. Even before I could actually read I loved opening the little drawer at the top, removing the magnifying glass, slipping one of the great, black volumes from it's case and poring over the pages.
Since that time it has been my Book Hoarder's Number One Goal in life to own such a wonderful, mystical, magical book. It's been on my Amazon wish list for years, but, of course, if it were bought as a gift for me it would be the only gift I would receive and my friends and family know I like lots of little gifts much more than one big gift. But I may have to bite the bullet and beg for the volumes before they become rare collector's items for geeks all over the world.
There is this ridiculously expensive version which would make me so proud to see as I walk past my bookcases, but I am drawn instead to this one, a reminder of the awe I felt the first time I encountered a truly magical book.

1 comment:

Shady Del Knight said...

I always looked forward to the first day of grade school when text books were issued. I was elated when I received a new book rather than a used one because a new book is a delight to the senses. To me, "that new book smell" is better than any perfume. Holding a book in your hands, feeling its weight and texture, hearing the sound the pages make when you turn them - these are trance inducing experiences that focus your attention and put you in a state of mind that enhances the learning process. The magic of opening and reading a new book cannot be matched by reading those same words on a sterile computer screen. I hope that books will never become obsolete in the name of progress.

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