On The Books We Remember Fondly

April 23rd, 2009 · 3 Comments
by Kassia Krozser

In discussing why Bloomsbury has created “The Bloomsbury Group”, focused on lost classics:

[Alexandra] Pringle said that she was struck by how many books being discussed on literary blogs were out-of-print period pieces. “Reading exchanges on the blogs set me thinking about what it is we like to read and how we find those books we know we will enjoy and treasure,” she said. “While the publishing industry chases the new, the young, the instantly commercial, readers are often looking for something else—for a kind of enduring quality.”

File Under: Quote of the Week

3 responses so far ↓

  • rhbee // Apr 24, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    As I look around my bookshelves here in my office, in the living room along one wall, down the hallway, again along one wall, in the master bedroom, still glass brick and board, and in my stacked to the ceiling storage room, all I can see are books from out of the past.

    If I find my mood needs elevating, then those shelves are where I usually turn. I even started a blog one time that I planned to turn into a book review of the past.

    Recently, I got caught up in a blog-discussion about writer’s workshops where I posed the possibility that less new and more old would actually, could actually be, another part of the sea change for writers that is needed to face our new and increasingly dangerous world economy.

    But I digress. I know that the first thing I look for in a bookstore or library is new work by familiar authors. And sometimes my impatience for one of them to bring out a new book pushes me to reread, too.

    And of course another great thing about the internet dialogue is that it really does offer an opportunity to talk about those stories and writers, and what they meant then and could mean now.

  • Pauline Jones // Apr 25, 2009 at 6:22 am

    I call these older books my comfort reads. I go to them when I’m blue, sick or just need the familiar. My keeper shelf is loaded with books written before 2000 and many of them earlier than that.

    I do have modern keepers, but many of them are on one of my eReading devices. I’ve tried to figure out what it is that makes a book a keeper and have had to admit a sort of defeat. It’s more about chemistry, than anything else, since I read romance, mystery, SF, action adventure and mainstream. I need to have chemistry with the words and the way an author uses them and when that chemistry is just right, its a keeper for me. 🙂

  • rhbee // Apr 25, 2009 at 7:28 am

    My oldest book is one I got as a teenager, Millard Lampell’s The Hero. When I first read it, it was for the story of the football player and the games he played. But a few years later, I discovered it on my shelf and the reread showed me that it was in fact a story about the powerful economic forces in this country that milk our love of games in order to make money and control our lives. About that time, I spent some time finding out about the author, his military career cut short by his political leanings, and his stint as a folk singer-writer with a group called the Weavers. I discovered that the book I loved as boy was really a book about the choices we have to make in order to be an adult.