Stylish Garments: Why We Love Old Paper Things

I've thought a lot about old books, old paper, ephemera - all the things I come across on a day-to-day basis. One of the blogs on our blogroll, and one of the sites that make it to my iGoogle page, is This Old Paper; they seem to think about this sort of thing as much as I do. They were nice enough to write up a post about Forgotten Bookmarks, and more specifically, our bookstore.

Looking though their site, I wonder what it is about these old things that fascinates us. Why are we drawn to a simple note, a single sentence, just because it was written 100 years ago? We come across words that old all the time, and choose to ignore them. Often, we ignore them because they are old words, tired words (I'm looking at you, Charles Dickens). No, it must be the intimacy of the words, the moment. I like to think we are part-time anthropologists, dreaming up the birth and death of of these old things, the wheres and the whys; imagining the postcard dropped in box in 1910, the candlelight flickering across the parchment as a tired father reaches across the miles with his words to his family back home, a bored student passing the time in his 1951 Latin class by doodling the teacher with a monkey's butt...

I have conjured up all these things and more, and I am just starting to realize that I prefer my version of history to anything that might have really happened. I am sure their lives were nearly as droll as ours.

Today's post is for you, T.O.P., and for all of you that just enjoy old things:


1 comment:

thisoldpaper said...

A heartfelt, albeit belated, "Thank You!" for this thoughtful post; a philosophical peek into what propels your ever-more-popular site.

Love this fashionable Macy's ad you chose as well - "It's all about the fabric!"

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