Why are books important?
I’ve been struggling with the idea of why books are important. I know why books are important, but with the attraction/distraction of available technologies, I’m not sure everyone does.
I’ve been selling my work at craft shows for about 6 years. Only in the last year or two have I heard the following reason why people won’t purchase one of my photo albums, even if they clearly like and/or want it:
“I keep all of my photos on my computer. I don’t need a photo album.”
Sure I have lots of pictures on my computer, just like everyone else. Do I ever look at them – no. But this isn’t just about selling books. It really makes me sad – there is such an opportunity lost here.
I see books as a way to bring people together – through their stories, through the act of sitting down together, reading, or looking at pictures. I don’t see myself sitting down with my grandchildren and breaking out the computer to look at family pictures. It’s cold and impersonal. If you put your pictures in a book, it shows that you care enough about your memories and your life to put them in a special place.
It may sound corny, but that’s how I feel.
This past weekend, I spent a lovely day outdoors with someone close to me and took lots of pictures. The next day, I took a batch of the pictures and put them in an accordion book so she could remember the day with her family. Making the book was my way of saying to her this time was important to me and I want to commemorate it. She seemed to appreciate it so much. It was really heartwarming. That’s enough of a reason for me to keep making books.
Hopefully it’s enough of a reason for people to use them.