Thursday, February 18, 2010

Encounter With The MASC

Strangely -- after being around Pullman for more than six years -- today was the first time I ever visited the MASC. Over the years I've defintitely considered it, and had a few friends that even worked there, but I never took their advice about actually checking it out. I'm regretting that now. I didn't realize how curious of a person I actually am. The few books they had out were really quite interesting to just look at. Despite the books being a little banged up, it only added to the questions I had. Each one -- regardless of what was written inside -- probably had a very unique and interesting story about where that book had been before, and how it ended up surviving on its' own for so long. Another thing that I kept thinking about was how a decent number of the books were written by absolute nobodies--they're kind-of just around for their antique qualities. Some of them were even pamphlets that most people probably just immediately discarded at times. Still, they ended up here somehow, and some even had their own pillows to lay on. It makes me wonder about what writers today will end up like that. The place is like some kind of high-class graveyard for books. It made me think of whether or not a book could be haunted: with that many books downstairs, the chances might be good of having one or two on call. So over all, I was totally impressed. Even the book keeper had a rediculous amount of novel-character to him. I wonder how the recent boom in ebook readers will effect it all down the line, though. If so, books in general will become some kind of rare-fable themselves: who remembers VHS's and all? It'd be too bad if it all happened that way. I really like having books on my shelf.

1 comment:

  1. Good points, Michael. The ebook question is a huge one. Trevor Bond mentioned Nicholson Baker's book on preserving paper copies of things like newspapers, which a lot of libraries have thrown out in favor of microform. We're lucky that we have these books (and the books in the compressed stacks, too--if you haven't seen those, which are on the bottom floor of the library, they are really worth a trip).