In This Digital Age, Book Collecting Is Still Going Strong – WSJ

In This Digital Age, Book Collecting Is Still Going Strong – WSJ.

This interesting article appeared in the April 12, 2015 edition of the Wall Street Journal (online). It reports on the fact that despite the surge in digital publishing and reading, book collecting is alive and well – among the young as as well as the old.

Here is the opening of the article; read the rest at the WSJ link above.

Digital disruption notwithstanding, book collecting appears to be alive and well, sustained in part by the very same people who are driving adoption of smartphones, tablets, e-readers and the like.

Take JT Bachman, a 28-year-old architect with Rockwell Group in New York. He gets his news from digital sources but prefers printed material when reading for pleasure and says he has become a recent convert to book collecting. Mr. Bachman says he has about 100 new, used and out-of-print titles on his shelves, including the architectural tome “Herzog & de Meuron: Natural History” by Pierre de Meuron and Jacques Herzog, and plans on buying more.

“I started collecting books because it is a way to catalog time,” Mr. Bachman says. “I want to keep them for the longer term.”

As you know, I am a collector of books also. Not necessarily rare ones, although I am always on the lookout for such. But I also appreciate unique books and books that match my special interests. One that I picked up in the last year is titled Lincoln’s Devotional, (or here) with an introduction by Carl Sandburg (Channel Press, 1957).

This little book is actually a replica/reprint of Abraham Lincoln’s copy of the devotional pamphlet published by the Religious Tract Society of London in 1852. It contains Lincoln’s handwritten name in the front (see image below), scanned from my own copy. Some believe that Lincoln was given this devotional after the death of his young son Edward in February of 1850.

Lincolns Devotional-1957ed

However he happened to come into possession of it, the book is a fine devotional, with texts in KJV and thoughts (brief poems) for each day of the year. Keeping in mind the possible context of this devotional of Lincoln – and remembering the 150th anniversary of his assassination this past Tuesday (April 14, 1865) – here is the listing for August 1 (which month has the theme “Sorrows of the Believer”):

These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John xvi.33.

The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown.
No traveller e’er reached that bless’d abode,
Who found not thorns and briars in his road.

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