Sharing Books

23:55 Sat 09 Dec 2006. Updated: 03:56 10 Dec 2006
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I was thinking about this at a party I was at this evening, and commented that sharing books is one of the pleasures in life. Upon reflection, I think this is really true, that I do absolutely love sharing books with friends.

This is true of other things as well, such as films, but those tend to be watched together a temporally-shared experiences. With books, though, I don’t mind the fact that the other person’s experience is distant from mine in time (and space).

Part of it is the interest in discussion—I love sharing books with friends and then talking about the books. But discussion of books seems like it belongs in its own category of life’s pleasures, and not as a defining part of this one. Even if I don’t discuss a book that I’ve shared with someone, the fact that they appreciate it is still a source of enjoyment. So shared appreciation seems to be the key.

I’m not sure why I enjoy this so much, but I do. I love sharing books with friends, and hope I always will.

4 Responses to “Sharing Books”

  1. mollydot Says:

    Do you know about bookcrossing?

  2. Tadhg Says:

    I’ve heard of it, but will have to look more closely. It’s not quite the same as sharing books with friends, but it’s still a great idea!

  3. Deirdre Says:

    As a beneficiary of this philosophy (‘A People’s History of the United States…’), for starters, I entirely agree. But did you mean (i) sharing books that you own, or (ii) introducing friends to books that you have enjoyed? I find (i) can get frustrating, if your friend is a raging pilferer who does not return the tomes in question. But (ii) is very rewarding. Was it you who introduced me to the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, or did I find that out after the fact?

    I managed to finish reading a book this month, for the first time in n-ages. The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion….and I’ve just acquired The Names by Don DeLillo as part of my Vietnam required holiday reading….

    did I mention that I’m going to Vietnam?

    yes, I know, I could have just sent you an email.

    Hope all is well :-)

  4. Tadhg Says:

    Deirdre: I was referring more to introducting friends to books I’ve enjoyed, but sharing physical books is often a good way to do this. I might well have introduced you to The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, since I push that book quite heavily! How was The Year of Magical Thinking?

    I guess I should shift this conversation to email, but thanks for the comment!

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