Sunday, December 30, 2012

They're Coming...


After nearly a month with the 1 volume Christian Prayer & the wonderful assistance of Divine Office.org's podcasts, I've decided to take the plunge & purchase the 4 volume bonded leather set of the Liturgy of the Hours. This wasn't an easy decision to make as its kind of pricey, but after scouring the web, I was able to land a brand new set for the lowest price around.

While the volumes of the "leather" edition are never sold individually, I could have gotten 1 volume at a time over the liturgical year (if I was willing to settle for vinyl). Not only does each volume typically sell for an average of $35 or more (used)- but you have to hunt & peck to find the right one for the season. Its kind of a crap shoot. As a last ditch effort to justify an impending purchase, I made a point to check out one of these vinyl editions in a Catholic bookstore last week. I tried to imagine myself holding this book every day...

The way I see it, I'm not investing in a set of books- I'm investing in a relationship. I've found that a well loved book has a tendency to become a part of you... there seems to be a strange intimacy that comes from nestling it's broken spine in your hand. As you balance it's weight & turn each page, it opens up to you, speaks to you, cries out to you. Books like these seem to have a distinct "presence", sometimes even a particular scent, like that of a person you love. They're comforting to have around & can enrich your daily life on countless levels.  But vinyl, while less expensive & durable, just seems... stiff & sterile. Its almost as bad as an e-reader in my opinion... 

A good book needs no batteries, no screen cover, no wi-fi capability... I don't have to worry about it losing functionality if I spill coffee on it or leave it in my car on a hot or cold day... While its appealing to think I could carry every physical book I own (& then some) with me wherever I go in one slim little tablet, its just not the same. Though I'm reading the same words, I'm not able to connect like I do when I read them on paper. That said, I'm very much looking forward to receiving the Liturgy of the Hours this new year.
Deo Gratias...

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