A book, any book, is for us a sacred object. Cervantes, who probably did not listen to everything that everyone said, read even “the torn scraps of paper in the streets.”
—Jorge Luis Borges, “On the Cult of Books”
This blog is for fellow members of the Cult of Books, which I joined as a little kid and have never once considered leaving. As cults go, it’s pretty relaxed: there are no fees (as long as you respect library due dates), no hazing rituals (unless some professor saddles you with Finnegans Wake), and very little dogma (members have spent the past forty years debating whether or not authors exist).
As much as possible, Book Think will share that spirit of freewheeling zeal. Posts will be a hodgepodge: some will offer short essays on classic literature; others will provide contemporary book news or commentary about the publishing industry. Mixed in will be digressions about book design, creative writing, and the print/digital divide.
This last topic will undoubtedly surface often, since I love physical books and am not above using the Web to wax poetic about print. (I don’t want to say wax nostalgic, although even for twentysomethings like me, that's what it’s starting to feel like.) At the same time, I'm interested more in starting good arguments than in defending a particular format. As any publisher, librarian, or Borders employee can tell you, we’re living through a topsy-turvy moment in the history of the book; it’s a little scary and a little thrilling, and I look forward to wading into the fray.
In some ways this blog will be an extension of my work as a teacher, but for the most part it will be an extension of my work as a student. Writing about books is a way of thinking through them, often more carefully than you otherwise would or could. I look forward to hearing, and learning, from readers throughout that process.
Mainly, this blog will try to provide what its author loves most: something good to read. Again, welcome to Book Think, and enjoy.
[Photo credit: flickr, user UofSLibrary.]