Charles Petzold on why he loves books


Charles Petzold confesses his love for books.

I must admit this bit really hit home for me: "I love how my books remind me of passages in my life. I love the shelves of authors I've been obsessed with, and the books that knocked me over. I love knowing that I still own virtually every book I've read."

I have shelves and shelves of technical books as I've always been quite happy to buy a book on the chance that I might learn one thing from it. I have some that I didn't really learn anything from but they're few and far between. It's amazing that I can often get up and reach straight for the book that holds the answer to my current problems, and it's equally amazing the memories that doing so often conjours from the previous times that I've lifted the volume from the shelf...

I dropped out of the habit of reading fiction a few years ago and spent most of my time reading technical stuff, I'm now slowly getting back into fiction. Because of the gap, most of my old fiction is boxed up and stored away. It's strangely reassuring to know that I still have all the stuff that I was reading back when I was a teenager. I may never want to read it again, but if I do, it's there: The huge collection of Harry Harrison. The piles of fantasy fiction. The beaten up copy of "Star Wars" (with its bizarre section of colour stills from the film in the center pages), and its stained cover from Christmas day when I was 10 or 12 ...

Somehow all the electronic text, CD Roms, pdfs, etc, that I have accumulated over the years doesn't quite have the same attachments...

Still, the Sony Reader is tempting in its own way... It would be nice to be able to have each book I buy come with an electronic version that would work on something like the Sony Reader.

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