Gorgeous isn’t it? As I have been taking pictures to add to my Anthropology Favorites Page, I came across this in my local store. It’s really beautiful. But what occurred to me as I looked at it was that this, a collection of pages, filled wit the stories of brilliant classic writers, bound in hard canvas covers, is now décor. The idea of having dozens of tales sit above your head inspiring your nightly dreams is lovely. But I wonder if the personal experience of actually holding a book in your hands and turning it’s pages is an experience that will eventually be passed down to future generations through “when I was young” stories, very much like the cranking car window or the television rabbit-ear antennas. What is enchanting about this to me, a woman in her 40’s probably will never have the same impact on future generations. Their relationship with prose very often comes in a hard plastic package with a lit glass screen. Sure, the characters remain the same. The stories are still told. The morals are still learned. But what about the feeing that happens at the end of reading a physical book…that one where there are just a few pages left. The excitement is building for those final words from the new hero. Your heart races a little with anticipation. At the same time there is that bittersweet sadness in your chest, because you know it will soon be over, like the loss of a friend. That feeling, that experience, may itself become an old tale to be told.
So for me, this display, while it encompasses Juvenile Hall Design’s mission of inspiring your child by surrounding them with what they love, also serves as a symbol of nostalgia. And I’m not sure I like it.
So for today, the last Feisty Friday post of the summer, I’m challenging you, my readers, to give your child just one real book to read. Make it a “back to school” gift or maybe just leave it on their pillow. Be sure that this scene continues to represent an experience, not just a tale.