What heaven has to offer book readers

Virginia Woolf’s essay “How Should One Read a Book?” has a nice conclusion:

I have sometimes dreamt . . . that when the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards—their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble—the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading.”

Ah, if only we could!

Captain Grimes, one of Evelyn Waugh’s characters in Decline and Fall (1928) has this to say about happiness:

… I don’t believe one can ever be unhappy for long provided one does exactly what one wants to and when one wants to.

 

On Print Books vs eBooks

Will Schwalbe, in The End of Your Life Book Club, has this to say about books:

   One of the many things I love about bound books is their sheer physicality. Electronic books live out of sight and out of mind. But printed books have body, presence. Sure, sometimes they’ll elude you by hiding in improbable places: in a box full of old picture frames, say, or in the laundry basket, wrapped in a sweatshirt. But at other times they’ll confront you, and you’ll literally stumble over some tomes you hadn’t thought about in weeks or years. I often seek electronic books, but they never come after me. They may make me feel, but I can’t feel them. They are all soul with no flesh, no texture, and no weight. They can get in your head but can’t whack you upside it. (pp. 42-43).