The Latest News from Blydyn Square Books
It’s September, and the smell of autumn is in the air. If I’m being honest, that crisp fall smell—cool air, pine, and maybe a hint of smoke from somebody (illegally) burning leaves in a barrel somewhere nearby—is one of my favorite aromas. But there is one that may have it beat: the scent of a new book. (Followed closely by the scent of an old book.)
Most diehard readers will know what I’m talking about. Fanning a book and sniffing its pages before you dive into the words is just one of the reading life’s great pleasures.
Another one has to be reading a book in a hot bath (I’ll take some lavender-scented bubbles, too, thanks!). Unfortunately, as many of us serious readers know all too well, the occasional reading-related bath accident does happen on occasion.
So, here’s my question for you: Why are real books better than ebooks? In my mind, the answer is simple.
If you drop a real book in the bath, you need a clothespin and a blow dryer. Crisis averted! If you drop your Kindle in the bath? You need a new Kindle.
But for me, the real book versus ebook debate comes down to more than just the problem of bath accidents.
I like to think books are more than just things to read or put on your shelf (without bothering to read them, if you’re that kind of person). Books are symbols—of intellect, of culture, of taste.
Books show other people who you are.
Whenever I go to someone’s house, I can’t help but spend a little time (okay, a lot of time) staring at the books on their shelves. Give me 15 minutes in front of a person’s bookshelf and I can pretty much tell you what they want out of life, where they’ve been, who they love, and where they’re going.
And if they don’t have any books out on display, I think, “How sad; they must be stupid!” (Or I think about the famous quote from John Waters: “If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t f*** them.”)
You can’t get all that culture and understanding and even dating advice from an ebook. Well, maybe you can, but it’s not the same. Besides, people hardly ever let you snoop through their e-readers and phones. (When did people get so touchy?)
The point I’m trying to make is this: Writing (and, by extension, the books we produce through writing) is like taking a snapshot for posterity. It shows who we are, both individually and as a society, at a particular moment in time.
So, though I love my Kindle (and honestly don’t know how I managed to travel for more than an overnight trip before I got it), I say let’s keep writing available in both the easy, digital format and the one that truly lasts (at least until the apocalypse arrives, which, given how this year has been going might very well be tomorrow): print.
Books—perhaps even more than diamonds—deserve to be forever.
That’s my take. What do you think? Are you a book sniffer like me? Or are you a digital-only devotee? Email us your answer to this survey and be entered to win an Amazon gift card:
Which type of book do you prefer?
a) “Real” book
c) I don’t care, as long as I’m reading
New Webinar: Secrets Most Writers and Publishers Don’t Want You to Know
Big news this month! Blydyn Square Books is getting ready to launch our very own writing webinar, beginning in January 2021. Led by yours truly, along with award-winning author Everett De Morier, this 10-week webinar (held on Zoom, so there’s no need to leave the house or even put on pants, if that’s what you’re into!) will give you the insider tips and truths about publishing you need to help you take your writing to the next level. See our website for more details.
Blydyn Square Book Club
At our September meeting, held on 9/17, the Blydyn Square Book Club talked about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise. And . . . we hated it! In case you missed the meeting, you can catch our full discussion here.
For October, we’ll be reading The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian. See our Facebook event page for more details and join us for the fun!
Quote of the Month
“I always read. You know how sharks have to keep swimming or they die? I’m like that. If I stop reading, I die.”
Brain Teaser of the Month
Congratulations to last month’s trivia winner, John McCabe, who won a $25 gift card from Amazon.
The question was: What is the bestselling novel of all time? Unfortunately, John didn’t actually get the question right. He made an excellent guess with The Da Vinci Code (which is, in fact, on the short list of all-time bestsellers), but the answer we were looking for was Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Still, because John was the only one to respond, he wins by default. Hey, guys! Step it up, will ya? ????
Now, here’s this month’s question (email us the correct answer and you could win an Amazon gift card):
In what book did the longest-ever sentence (823 words) appear?
That’s it for this month. Hope your September is full of crisp autumn air and good-smelling books!
Editor in Chief
Blydyn Square Books