How do you choose books that count?

So many books, so little time . . .  This has never been more true.   I remember when I read Simon Winchester’s The Professor and the Madman. I was enthralled by the story and the obsession, but mostly by the love of words and books. Imagine being in prison, reading and researching ancient texts and the first use of a word, contributing to something bigger than yourself. And being immortalized in a book.

Until I began working in a library, handling sometimes hundreds of books a day, I did not really understand that a bibliophile doesn’t necessarily need to read books—we just need to feel, see, smell, and hold them. Perhaps there is another word better suited. I actually love to read with an e-reader now because I can increase the size to make reading easier; I can carry dozens of books with me; and I can read in the dark!

So what makes a book? Apparently the Japanese word Tsundoku is the art of buying books and never reading them. What about ebooks? Book buying and reading has never been easier and yet how do you choose the books that count? What and who do you remember? What catches your eye?

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