I Love Paper
I recently got a Kindle, and I have been enjoying it, especially when I travel or when the library doesn’t have a physical copy of something I want. Even the delightfully low-tech e-reader can’t replace the tactile pleasure of page-turning, though. I love holding the weight of a book in my hands, staring at the cover as I ruminate on my recent reading, or flipping the pages to create a light kiss-like breeze on my face. Maybe I only feel this physical delight because of the mental and emotional connections I have to books.
I am so inspired by the possibilities that paper creates. I love the exhilaration I experience when I walk into a bookplace, whether it be a library, a bookstore, or a museum gift shop. Surrounded by works of words, I think of all the books I could read — for ideas or stories or knowledge or pure pleasure — and I am overwhelmed. I give all up as futile and lost. My heart races and my head buzzes. My focus broadens to encompass more than my little brain can hold, and in order to function, I have to quickly redirect my mind to what I can handle. When everything is important, nothing can be important.
My love of paper is demonstrated by the gifts I received for my 18th birthday in September. Besides the pair of overalls, everything book-related. A journal of prompts, a planner for next year, a copy of Middlemarch and Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, a Brontë Sisters notebook, and a case for my Kindle that reads “My Book” on the binding.
Most of my presents had either been expected or literally picked out by me, but one gift was a total surprise. It was Newspaper Blackout, Austin Kleon’s book of blackout poetry, signed by Austin Kleon himself. It read “For Jordan - Happy 18th Birthday - Austin Kleon” and had a little illustration. When I saw it, I burst into tears, more touched and surprised than I have ever been by a gift. My sister had gotten it for me, and it was perfect — not at all expected or wished for, but just the right thing, a personal message from my favorite creative inspiration.
My collection of Decomposition books is also testimony to my love of paper.