Paige Dickerson's Blog

Symbolism

Posted in Personal Musings by voteforjaneausten on July 26, 2011

I just finished reading “The Fountainhead” — this isn’t the blog for my review, which I’ll do on my book blog later when I have the energy to retrieve the appropriate quotes and such. But reading a book so full of symbolism made me begin to look at my own life. Already I had been contemplating the idea of possessions as symbolism. Many people remember me for my massive numbers of books. I liked that. I would not get rid of a book that I had read or intended to read. My bookshelves were stacked two deep and I had more piled in my room and more in boxes. When I started thinking about getting a Kindle for the first time I resisted. Part of it was the tactile thing the feel, the smell of books. But part of it was missing my library. And I began to ask myself what did it symbolize to me? I was disappointed to learn that to me it was more of an ego thing than a love thing. I do love a great number of my books, but I was holding on to a great deal more than the ones I loved — ones I never intended to open again partly because it created a greater library. It gave me the image of a reader. I am a great reader, but my library said nothing about me, so I got rid of probably 4/5 of my library, keeping only those that I truly loved or at least respected. Now I think if someone looked at my library they might have more of a sense of me. A symbol of what kind of reader I am. (Although I have currently loaned out three of my favorite books. . .  haha.)

I was also thinking this weekend about another kind of symbolism and me. The messiness that once plagued me. Since arriving home I have kept my room perfectly tidy. It hasn’t even gotten a little messy. But many of my friends and family can attest that wasn’t always the case. I am often teased about this (many times because I used to make fun of myself for it — mostly out of my own shame. I guess I thought if I laughed first it wouldn’t hurt as much when they laughed.) But the messiness, I’ve come to believe was a kind of outward example of my own inner messiness. One time a friend of mine in Brazil said that to me and I was furious with him. I thought, “No, sometimes I’m just messy.” But I think my fury was just an acknowledgement of how right he was, at least in my case.  Right now I am at peace. I am happy with where I am. There are things I still struggle with, of course. Life is never a cake walk. But I feel like I am following the path I am supposed to. I’ve never been at peace with my place in life before. I’ve always struggled before. I’ve always felt in turmoil as if being tossed about by the ocean. So I suppose it is no surprise that my space reflected that. People still tease me about my former messy way. I suppose they don’t know that I’ve changed. It has only been a short while, after all. And those memories, even just of the mess, are  painful. Maybe someday, I’ll figure out a way to ask them to stop the mockery.

What do the things that mean a lot to you say about you? What about the things that embarrass you?

E-Readers

Posted in Books by voteforjaneausten on February 24, 2011

Is there anything better than opening up a new book, ruffling through the pages and the scent that wafts off  of it — ink, paper and glue? Maybe an older book does — one that has taken on the scents of former owners, has that light dusty/musty smell, but just seems to have more “weight” because of the scent that floats off the pages.

I adore my book collection. I am not sure how many I had at my most — probably around 300. My dream has always been to have a house that has a library of its own. My favorite scene as a kid in any movie was the part where the Beast gives Belle his library. So many books that there were ladders and stairs to reach them all! What could be more romantic than a gift like that? Well, nothing, really.

Amazon KindleI also have a technology obsession. I love how electronics work. I love the way that facebook has allowed me to connect with people I knew half my life ago — and to again befriend them over many miles and countries. So you would think I would automatically love e-readers (I don’t like how it is traditionally written without the hyphen. . . it looks weird!) That isn’t exactly true. I was fascinated when I first heard of them in high school. Apparently Hearst first worked on the idea in the 1970s (or at least that is what I was told 10 years ago in high school.) But the more I thought of the loss of the pages and beautiful covers and the SMELL of books, the more I mourned the thought. (more…)

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