I got a nice surprise today: a neighbor brought over some "donations," several old books she didn't have time or space for any more. It was a wonderful medley, mostly from the 1930's, ranging from a Girl Scout Handbook to several lovely illustrated Dickens novels.
Personally, I love old books. I love the way they look and feel and smell, I love the texture and the yellow tinge to the pages, I love the faded, embossed covers, I even like the fonts. I adore the idea that each book has a story: a few words in pencil on the inside cover get my imagination racing, creating a whole life story for the first owner of the book. I guess it's my mushy romantic side showing.
I also feel responsible when I hold old books - like if I so much as handle them roughly, their pages will fall out or their spines will crumble. I take excellent care of my older novels, much better care, I admit, than I take of my newer editions.
While I'm all for new books - most books featured on this blog, of course, are very recent and modern - somehow they just don't have the charm of old books. They're appealing in their own right, but they don't have the siren call of a gorgeous antique book for me.
I'm curious, now - what do my readers think of older books? Do you love them as much as I do, or do you dismiss them as musty and dull? Do you go out of your way to handle them, or do you avoid them? Comment - or hey, write your own post and link back - and let me know!