Some say the book is dead. With the invention and increased availability of the electronic reader and the proliferation of electronic books, many believe that the book as a physical object is soon to become obsolete. There are others however that still hold the actual book itself not only in their hands but in their hearts. In Bound to Last, beloved authors such as Joyce Maynard, Julia Glass, Chris Abani and Sean Manning come together to share their love of books or more specifically their love of one very special book in their life. More often than not readers will find the book is held dear not because of what is between its covers but because of the book itself.
For some authors the book they most treasure is connected to their profession. It’s a work that made them want to write, to become part of the written word. As author Ray Bradbruy shares in the book’s foreword, for him it was a collection of the works of Edgar Allen Poe purchased by a favorite Aunt. For most however the book is a link whether it be to a person, a moment or a memory, it’s the physical book itself that takes them back in a way that no e-reader could. Joyce Maynard writes of her father’s bible while Julia Glass and Francine Prose share much-loved childhood books. For some the book is well worn and always at hand, for others the book is actually long since misplaced but never forgotten. No matter the connection or location each essay unfolds as an “ode to the book” as a physical object, reiterating its place in our everyday world as more than simply a mode of delivery.
Bound to Last is the perfect book for a lover of books. It’s a work that will be cherished by those who enjoy not only the words of writers but also the books from which they come. Each essay is well crafted and written with feeling as the writers share their personal connections to a special book in their life. Bound to Last will also be treasured not only as a collection of essays but as a recommendation source itself as each essay will leave readers wanting to read the book discussed to discover why each book is special to the individual writer. In a time where so many are neglecting the art that is the book, it’s wonderful to have thirty books to remind us that there is nothing like the real thing.
“Perhaps it represents the failure of a weak imagination, but I cannot quite imagine feeling the same way about passing my first e-book down to a new generation.” ~Francine Prose
“A good book becomes part of who we are, perhaps as significant a part of us as our memories. A good book flashes around inside, endlessly reflecting. Its shapes, its people, its places become our shapes, our people, our places.” ~Anthony Doerr
“Like Valjean, I escaped from prison. I was no longer in a cell. I was in nineteenth-century Paris.” ~ Louis Ferrante