Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bibliophobe’s revenge.

Here's a fact to completely astound
Any reader who keeps books around.
There's a breed on this globe
Called the bibliophobe:
The mere sight of a book – he's unbound.

You could say that again, boys and girls. Take it from me. If you want to turn a bibliophile like me into a frothing-at-the-mouth bibliophobe, the surest way to do it is to hand him a coffee table book admeasuring 300mm x 223mm with a 28mm spine and insist he uses it for reference. I’m speaking from recent hands-on experience. Only someone as weird as Cosmo Kramer could have come up with the very idea of the coffee table book, I can vouch with total conviction. It’s one thing to open one of those obscenely oversize books on a coffee table top and insouciantly turn the pages barely glancing at the pretty pictures – making arty-sounding remarks just to show the present company how hip and with-it you are. It’s quite another, believe me, trying to read the text printed in an undecipherable small font and trying to make sense of it. They should at least set them up in large print like books for the visually impaired – if they want what’s printed in them to be taken seriously. A look at Large Print tells me that art books are not included in its fairly comprehensive repertoire that boasts chicken soup series, children’s books and even Harry Potter for that matter. In other words, no sensible soul expects what’s written in art books to be taken seriously. Ergo, look at the pretty pictures. Don’t read the drivel. [New Learning about Ye Olde Attitudes: Did you know that according to the Ulverscroft Group, one the biggies in the large print publishing business the English-reading universe comprises the UK, Ireland, South Africa, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand only?]

Music-to-your-ears last words:

This odd word, bibliolater, looks
Like a person who can't get his hooks
On enough things to read,
But I ask you, indeed,
Can a reader have too many books?

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