Home > Oak Knoll Books, Oak Knoll Press > “The book has somehow, and miraculously, made it through”

“The book has somehow, and miraculously, made it through”

For us here at Oak Knoll Books, there is a framed leaf that we must walk past to get to the kitchen that reads as follows:

The World of Books

Is the most remarkable creation of man

Nothing else that he builds ever lasts

Monuments fall

Nations perish

Civilizations grow old and die out

And after an era of darkness

New races build others

But in the world of books are volumes

That have seen this happen again and again

And yet live on

Still young

Still as fresh as the day they were written

Still telling men’s hearts

Of the hearts of men centuries dead

-Clarence Day

What Clarence Day meant by this saying was that no matter what, through all the hardships that have occurred through human history, the book has somehow, and miraculously, made it through. However, we are entering a world of Kindles, Nooks, and iPads that put a digital book in the palm of your hand. Now, with the flick of a finger, we can download and read Gone with the Wind or The Great Gatsby in its entirety. The headaches of having to cart around the entire collection of your favorite volumes through the ever-so-constricting lines of the airport security are now a thing of the past.

But where will the book be in the future with all of these technological advancements going on around it? Personally, I like a physical book in my hand, but I also like playing Angry Birds on my phone—not necessarily the same thing. After reading email after email and researching antiquarian titles for customers, at the end of the day, I really just want to close my eyes for a while (I wait until I’m done driving home!) and relax them.

As someone who works in my kitchen all of the time, I read through a lot of cookbooks (thank you Thomas Keller). As you know, paper and veal stock don’t react well to each other, especially when you want to reuse the cookbook again. However, I love the feeling of having little red dollops of marinara sauce on a page where there is a lasagna recipe, or green splotches over the chive oil recipe. It gives me that feeling of ‘yea, I’ve been there before’. I can savor the memory of making that recipe before which gives me the most satisfaction. It’s like the book is reading me instead of me reading it.

Try letting sauce and oils creep into the crevices of an eBook reader and watch how quickly you will have to get it repaired, or take it back to the store all together.

-Rob

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