Saturday, July 12, 2014

Books: Best Friends Forever

Forced to abandon his library when fleeing Nazi Europe, author Léopold Stern arrived in Rio De Janeiro in 1940 on the famous Serpa Pinto ship with 420 other refugees. Over the next two years, he would jot down his impressions of his new home in what was to become the book, Rio De Janiero et Moi.

In one of the essays, entitled "My Book" (Mon Livre) he reflects on what he misses about having his own books with him.

"My" book is not the same as the one you will find in the front window of any bookstore, from the same author and with the same title; far from it!

"My book," he explains, is the one full of my own margin notes, of places that I underlined, and of earmarked paged that I bend myself, even though I hate, as an act of brutality, to see the pages of a book bent. It is the one that I read for the first time when I was sixteen, listening to a Nocturne of Chopin floating down from the floor above.

And in explaining what is special about "my book", Stern gives us perhaps the most convincing reason - 70 years before the creation of the ebook - why the electronic book will never replace the printed book in our hearts.

Read Complete Essay "My Book" by Léopold Stern, 1942 (translated into English by Linda Zuckerman)

1 comment:

  1. Very nice essay. I've always been very attached to "my" books too. Especially the ones my mother read to me, or that I read to my own children when they were small.