Tuesday, January 26, 2010

365/25 A Maker's Manifest

365/25 A Maker's Manifest

"In my writing I am acting as a map maker, an explorer of psychic areas, a cosmonaut of inner space, and I see no point in exploring areas that have already been thoroughly surveyed."
William S. Burroughs

I love old books. I've got hundreds of them, inherited from my family. Some of them I read, some of them I wrinkle my nose at. But the most powerful thing about these books is their aged bouquet. It's very distinct.

Take this one, for example. This was my Grandfather's Machinery's Handbook. It's dated 1943 and is the 13th edition, as far as I can tell from the publishing history, which dates back to 1913. The book was well cared for. It still has a waxed paper covering that he must have put on at some point to protect it. None of the pages are dog-eared. I've been through it several times and I can find no scribbled notes marring any of the pages. In essence, it's in pristine condition.

I've had this book for some fifteen years now and it's one of my most cherished books. It appeals to the geek, nerd, and engineer in me. I like paging through it and learning about different and useful tidbits of information. I don't know that I'll ever find a use for all of the information in this book, but I'm sure glad I have it handy. When the zombie apocalypse comes, I'll make sure to have this handy to help rebuild the nation.

You can't say that about just any 67 year old book, now can you? No, you can't.

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