Physical Books

Ashlee Willis has published a delightful article about her love for physical books called, “Paper and Ink: 3 Reasons I’m not an eBook Girl.”  She followed that post with another featuring phenomenal pictures of old books from Ireland.  One can almost feel the texture and breathe the old book scent right through her pictures.

She loves physical books because they are real.  They appeal not just to our intellect, but also to our senses.  We are real.  We are physical bodies, and our physicality has purpose.

We are not just spiritual creatures.  God came in the flesh.  (1 Timothy 3:16).  God gave us sacraments.  (Luke 22:19).  God redeemed our bodies.  (Romans 8:23).  God did this because he loves who we really are.  We are not ghosts in machines, but rather we are bodies and spirits united as one.

Further, because we are made in the image and likeness of a maker, we can make.  We can create stories and characters through physical words and books.  The physical expression of ideas is what makes them communicable and real.

Just as there is pleasure in the physical sensation of reading a book, I imagine an author must also feel pleased to hold their first book.  Writing a novel often takes years of effort.  So there must be some satisfaction in interacting with that first physical copy.

Here is a Facebook post with a picture of the very first physical copy of my brother’s book, The Death You Deserve:

May God bless the Christian authors.

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One thought on “Physical Books

  1. For those who love physical books, I recommend reading The Golden Book: The Story of Fine Books and Bookmaking–Past & Present, by Douglas McMurtrie. An English professor recommended it when I was in college, and I serendipitously found a copy at the used bookstore inside the Milwaukee airport, just as I was on my way to Austin to visit the library science grad school that I later attended. It’s been years since I read it, but I remember that it was full of history and a pleasure to read.

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