“One for the Books” by Joe Queenan

One for the Books
Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

I totally enjoyed reading this one. Queenan is hilarious and very sarcastic. I chuckled so much while reading this book on the train that quite a few times a fellow passenger would inquire of what I was reading. This book is like a tribute to books. Queenan discusses his weird, bookish quirks and all the places that books have brought him and that he has brought them.

This is one for book-lovers. A wealth of bookish topics are discussed as Queenan recounts his experiences with books, such as how to read books, whether or not to write in them, e-readers, organizing books, and book clubs (the section on book clubs is one of the funniest parts).

I hope to re-read this book in the future when, I hope, I can understand all the literary references stated in it. Being quite young, I haven’t read as much as Queenan who has thus far read about 6,128 books in his lifetime. I do wonder if he really has read that many books or if he’s just throwing out a random number. Anyways, I have no idea of how many books I’ve read thus far in my life. I know it’s quite a lot since I have never went without a book or stopped reading them since the day I discovered books, which was pretty early in life since my mother was an English teacher, but I do hope to top that number.

I discovered this book on the Wall Street Journals website where I read an excerpt of it. I love reading books on books and since it was hilarious, I dashed to Barnes & Noble to get a copy. Check out the excerpt here.

Quote from book: “A reading life, a friend once told me, is an adventure without maps where you meet unexpected soulmates along the way.”

What is the fate of books today?

These e-book thingies are becoming more popular and Borders is closing. It’s like an apocalypse is about to take place in my literary life.

THE MACHINES ARE TAKING OVER!!! My brain screams each time that I see one of those horrid e-books. I mean, what enjoyment can you get out of an e-book? You open the case to face a blank screen that you then program to show you a story. That’s not an experience. An experience is taking down an old, dusty book from the large cabinet in the attic, blowing off the thick dust, and opening the cover to breathe in the musty air of mildewed pages that almost turn you away but instead your curiosity gets the better of you and you continue to turn the stiff, brittle pages until you get to the first word of the beginning of a story that grabs and takes hold of your attention and interest, not letting go until you’ve reached the end. It’s either that or entering a book store, purchasing a brand new novel that you can’t help but to caress the smooth pages of, and constantly stare at the amazing artwork on the cover. And every time that you open the book, you just have to deeply breathe in that new book smell.

Books were an adventure waiting to happen. It was a guarantee that you could travel to any place or realm and live any life. Although the same words and artwork are available on the e-reader, the experience is so different. When I finish I story, I enjoy closing the book. It gives a sense of finality to the experience. I tend to think, “That’s another one conquered!” With an e-book, this is not possible. You can close the cover of the case and think a similar thought, but when you are ready to read again, it is the same case that you open. But despite my sentiments towards these technological advancements in the literary area, people are still crazy for them. I wonder if this is one of the causes that pushed Borders to liquidation?

Continue reading “What is the fate of books today?”