The launch of the Kindle got me thinking about all the things an e-reader can never be. You can't inscribe it to a loved one or press flowers between it's pages. It can never be an object, loved and cherished and passed from person to person, with any history. Your children cannot draw upon the pages and fill it with precious memories. Illustrations look terrible on it, especially art, which needs a grand scale. For these reasons and many more, help me celebrate the real thing: dusty old books!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Compliments of the Season!

Here's a lovely little "King Penguin" given to my wife by her sister many years ago, although the book was pretty vintage even then. It's a short history of the Christmas Card, and is illustrated with assorted and typical examples.

A lovely keep-sake and as we approach another New Year and move, at frightening speed, towards the end of the first decade of the 21st century, I find myself clinging to visions of the past like this, rather than embracing the digital future. But whether you are with me on that one or not: "A Merry Christmas to all my readers" !



  1. The King Penguins are great, aren't they, though it's hard to find them with spines intact these days.

    Happy Christmas, James, and to your family. It would be fun to see you all again in 2010 if possible.

  2. Buon natale to all your family, James. I am restricted to a sofa this Christmas so I am ploughing through my collection of vintage Paul Gallicos. First off, The Snowflake...

  3. * Thomas, it would be wonderful to see you. Let us know if you cross the channel and Happy Christmas to you all!

    * Saviour - it's been lovely to meet you and I hope you have a great Christmas, despite your injury. The Snowflake is perfect for the weather. Funnily enough I was planning on posting about The Small Miracle in the New Year. I love Gallico's work, even The Poseiden Adventure!

  4. Wishing you the merriest of the Christmas season, James. May your hearth be warm and toasty, and love and laughter fill every room in your house. It's been a joy chatting with you in 2009 - I hope to catch up with you (in Edinburgh?!) in the New Year! All the very best.

  5. Thanks Chas - really good to "meet" you as well and here's hoping our paths cross in Edinburgh!

    Merry Christmas one and all!