An American classic will soon be added to your e-book reading list: Author Harper Lee has given the go-ahead for an electronic version of "To Kill a Mockingbird."
In a statement, Lee admits she's not all the way on board with the e-book trend. "I'm still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries," she said. "This is 'Mockingbird' for a new generation."
We understand where she's coming from. Kindles and iPads may be convenient, but nothing beats the feel and smell of a real, live book in your hands. These authors and writers agree:
"These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice... and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart." -- Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession"
"I love old books. They tell you stories about their use. You can see where the fingerprints touched the pages as they held the book open. You can see how long they lingered on each page by the finger stains." -- Jack Bowman
"If the book is second-hand, I leave all its markings intact, the spoor of previous readers, fellow-travellers who have recorded their passage by means of scribbled comments, a name on the fly-leaf, a bus ticket to mark a certain page." -- Alberto Manguel, "The Library at Night"
"I know every book of mine by its smell, and I have but to put my nose between the pages to be reminded of all sorts of things. -- George Gissing
"Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?" -- Henry Ward Beecher
"A house without books is like a room without windows." -- Horace Mann
"To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations -- such is a pleasure beyond compare." -- Yoshida Kenko, "Essays in Idleness"
"Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house." -- Charles Francis Richardson
“Old books exert a strange fascination for me -- their smell, their feel, their history; wondering who might have owned them, how they lived, what they felt.” -- Lauren Willig
"A book is a fragile creature, it suffers the wear of time, it fears rodents, the elements and clumsy hands. So the librarian protects the books not only against mankind but also against nature and devotes his life to this war with the forces of oblivion." -- Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose"
"The walls of books around him, dense with the past, formed a kind of insulation against the present world and its disasters." -- Ross MacDonald
"Lord! when you sell a man a book you don’t sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue -- you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night -- there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book." -- Christopher Morley, "Parnassus on Wheels"