we go on we go on

Answers to yesterday's quiz: Jimmy Bean; Gilbert Blythe; Peter -don't think his last name was ever mentioned. I would be so grateful to be corrected.   So, we/you/I keep asking: how can The Book ever disappear?  Well, they're talking about the physical book, as opposed to all the electronic ways something like a book can be read. I'm a member of The Folio Society, for a long time now.  The book lovers and purveyors there used to issue a flyer about twice a year and the big deal was Christmas. Now they seem to have flyers and announcements every month. It's their answer to e-books.  Instead of buying a mess of words to read on an evanescent "page", why not buy and own a REAL book, with handsome illustrations, elegant fonts, lovely stock, a book worth handling, loving and treasuring?  And keeping.   The e-readers offer services: their versions of bookmarks, highlights, notes and so on.  I use the smallest post-it notes in my books as well as pens.  Some books look like benign hedgehogs with all the little papers sticking out of them ("Read me! Read me!).  When I go back to them I have a guided tour, a digested series of thoughts, with my comments on the side (I like wide margins) so that I can pick up where I left off.  I have been doing that a lot recently, picking up, because I'm preparing to write a new book.  I don't treat fiction books like this, for the sake of other readers.  But my reference books and non-fiction: essays, criticism, memoirs, diaries, reports and speculations, these are all annotated.  When the University of Manitoba and I were first negotiating the acquisition of my papers for the archives, I warned them that my women's diaries are all marked up  "Good!." I was told. "That will give valuable insights into your mind."  (Makes me feel like a cave. Bring a flashlight.)  I'm grateful they didn't think I was defacing my books. I wouldn't do that.  Books are precious.