The Ritual Placing of the Book

Macy Halford, writing on the New Yorker website about the Kindle, said, “When I read a book all the way through to the end, I want the evidence stuffed and mounted on my bookshelf.”

I feel a lot the same way. I enjoy finishing a book, and then finding just the right spot for it on a bookshelf (we have five bookshelves in our living room, two in our bedroom, and one in the computer room). I’ve read four books on my Nook so far, but when I’m done, there’s no holy Placing of the Book ritual.

Halford continues, “My suspicion is that people who prefer e-readers use them primarily to read Harlan Coben, and are happy to be able to delete the physical evidence.”

True, to an extend. I’ll use the Nook for books that I would probably just return to a used bookstore, or to which I don’t care to designate precious shelf space. My Black Lizard, mysteries, for example–I’ll continue reading the dead-tree versions. And I’ll continue experiencing the post-epilogue-ish ceremonial Placing of the Book.

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