What we build
we eventually destroy

through the barren years
lean years
dead years
aftermath of some catastrophe
or other

Dust flourishes on all surfaces
in every nook and cranny
it can find
all that is left of a people
gone behind.

Greed, violence
just some of the elements in
man’s inevitable demise
common or rare
this fountain of knowledge
somehow still stands.

So good to be believed in once.
These books,
these imposing keys to imagination
but soon may crumble back to earth
while their truly original
means of birth are freely
growing once again.


© Daydreamertoo *All rights reserved

I cannot imagine a world without books. I came across this photograph somewhere online and it started me off thinking what would it be like after some type of global catastrophe had occurred.
I know some people love them but, I also cannot imagine myself ever loving these hand held kindles and other electronic readers. To a book lover, there is no greater pleasure than being surrounded by books, picking then up and holding them, old or new. The new ones, I love smelling that newness and, thumbing gently through it’s pages, reveling in that touch.  Can’t stand people who break their backs, write in them or, turn the page over to keep the place either!  That’s what bookmarks are for! …LOL

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Carry On Tuesday #161

Author: Daydreamer

I live on a beautiful island in Atlantic Canada.

44 thoughts on “Books”

  1. I loved this!
    It made me think of a Nora Ephron quote I just read about the importance of books.

  2. My daydream is to live in a bookshop. That’s not to deny the usefulness of a Kindle when travelling, or in hospital.

  3. Love how your words surround this image here. If such were ever to happen I like how you interpret it might turn out. I still fight against reading on a tablet rather than from a ‘real’ book.

  4. I’m with you on the books vs ereaders. I must admit, though, to occasionally turning a page corner. I also love finding old books that others have written comments in. I like reading others’ thoughts on the same passages. To me, it shows the book was well loved.

  5. The disaster of the burning of the Library at Alexandria haunts me when I recall it. So much genius burned. Aristotle’s treatise on comedy comes immediately to mind. Inmust say, though, that I do not have your bibliophilic civility. Inwrite in books, dog ear, bend back. I eas happy when they came out with the Kindle! 🙂 These last lines really intrigue me:

    while their truly original
    means of birth are freely
    growing once again.

    It seems to say that beyonfpd books there’s the source of them, human genius, which also can be reborn. Perhaps you mean the Renaissance, though it seems more a statement of exustential import than historical. Ll in all a wondetfully creative poem.

  6. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust” seems almost fitting in “circle of life” way.

    Excellent write, I fully understand this. I still love physical books and a part of me mourns with each new e-reader I see. That libraries will someday be little more than giant boxes of with row after row after row glowing screens, frightens me.

  7. The more words that we add to the wall of literature, the higher and stronger that wall of knowledge becomes. Your words have added to the strength and vibrancy of that which we love.
    Mark Butkus

  8. Yes this will all be gone someday, makes me wonder why we bother but even when all the lines are down there will still be ink and paper.

  9. I love books too, my study is lined with them. The kindle however, gives the opportunity of trying something new, or a unknown author who grabs your attention. The choice is so diverse and you can get most of the classics for nothing. There is a place for both and I certainly don’t see the demise of the beautiful printed book you can hold in your hand.

  10. As the man said, “Nothing lasts (or succeeds) for ever. I wonder how much that is down to man’s own volition… Interesting thought. I do think the announcements on the death of the book are a little premature, though. Laugh, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we open a new book!

  11. Life would be so lifeless without books…
    loved the way u described all that loneliness it is going to create…

    though I’m one of those who love to write in books..
    add some notes on empty spaces… but I do that only to text books 😀

  12. Books can mesmerize for hours on end. The same cannot be said of trying to read the same book on-line. It’s not tangible and we feel lost after a few minutes. Good to be surrounded by them, Bren!


  13. Extremely strong piece. That scene you painted and the picture, wow, really gets me. I could never not have books, it would be torture. Great read. Thanks

  14. a sad poem until the end!

    how many “written” records of earlier civilizations have been lost? i hate to think of a future without books… the electronic readers may be good for reading on a subway or other public transportation, but i’m with you, Bren! i prefer a real old-fashioned book!

  15. Books are my first love. Even more than videogames. (heh) I can’t ever walk out of a bookshop without getting a new book. ebook readers are convenient but there’s something about the feel of a page, perhaps a comfort from childhood memories of huddling in some cosy corner and spending hours lost in some world in a book.

    Pic reminds me of scenes from the documentary series, Life Without People.

    Great post and poem, Daydreamer!

  16. I agree, I cannot imagine a world without books and music — Kindles/Nooks or whatever else they’re called … they don’t feel, smell, or read the same as a “real book”!! Nice direction for the prompt!!

    Magical Moments

  17. I so agree with you. My lifetime love affair with books has carried me through the years. I have floor to ceiling bookshelves all along one wall of my place, and though I have run out of room, I still cant resist picking up good books from the discard bin at the library, to stack along the hallway. Those devices dont work for me at all… isnt the same, plus I prefer turning a page to trying to make those kindle “pages” turn. Frustrating.

  18. … everything returns to the earth (or the sea …) … I love my books as well … right now I’m reading “Barefoot Season” by Susan Mallery … Love you, Bren, Always, cat.

  19. “What we build
    we eventually destroy” … So true.

    through the barren years
    lean years
    dead years
    aftermath of some catastrophe” … Love the repetition of “years” here.

    “all that is left of a people
    gone behind” … Nice.

  20. We haven’t upgraded in our house, I feel fortunate to feel the same way as you. I want to turn the pages myself and shuffle through dust in tiny little bookstores to find them. Books are weapons(light and knowledge and freedom), I want them to stay the same. I love this post and the image. 🙂

  21. I was thinking the same thing, about that paper/book/tree connection…
    what an ancient feel this poem has, great symmetry to the photo…

  22. “So good to be believed in once.” And so honored that we built edifices for them and–as you show with the image followed by images–dust/decline/torn/crumble–but somehow “their truly original
    means of birth are freely growing again”–and you give us TREES! At first I thought you meant authors, but they have other means of being heard. Gosh Golly–you have folded the ecosystem into this poem–Brilliant!!

  23. I’ve had to purge books… makes me really think of those that I MUST have and those I can get at a library if I want to re-read them. But, I still have a TON of books. I always think, if I had ONE bookcase in a small room… what would I keep? I guess that is where a kindle comes in handy. I am a succor for old, used bookstores as well. Those awesome out of print find thrill me.

    I loved the last line… wonderful.

  24. made me ‘smell’ the dusty books the finds in those old bookstores – the feel – nothing like – opening the pages – replete with dustcover or not – no nothing like – nice one – Lib

  25. I have to agree adore books they open the mind to new adventures. May we always feel the power and magic of words.

  26. So feeling this one! MY better-half (ahem) takes MY books to the bath and falls asleep…we have approached divorce more than once based solely on his disrespect of the written word and their mediums! And the silly fool got me one of those ereaders…handy when its the only form offered…mind you he bought me a cover that makes it look like a book to lessen my unease…but I still can’t smell the words!

  27. Books are the keys to imagination ~ I love reading hard copy of the book but I must admit I am liking Kindle and even pdf versions as its handy and doesn’t take space ~

  28. And when they find a mountain of dead kindles, what will be made of that? A species more in love with the technology than their languages… Cracking write!

  29. I agree; I love a real book, but I finally went the Kindle route. I kept many of my books, but gave hundreds of them away last time we moved.

  30. My little one loves books and he refuses to get a kindle…he tells me how he loves real books and how book stores would close if everyone read digital books. I agree 🙂

  31. love that pic and think it’s a bit of a circle…the reading, the bringing to life…then crumble back to earth…growing again..just like the words in that…love real books..

  32. oh i love books…and real books…their feel, texture, smell….old books stores are my fav…i can not imagine it as well…a humbling truth in your opening lines bren…

  33. Yeah books are better than the electronic crap anyday. God only knows what would happen should we succumb to the greed and violence fully, books will hopefully survive to tell our tale.

  34. I am the same when it comes to people badly treating books! The picture is so…sad =( Truly, “what we build, we eventually destroy”.

  35. Very interesting, Bren. When I first read your poem, I did not realize you were writing about books. I was thinking about so many other things when you said “What we build we eventually destroy.” I was thinking about civilizations (how many civilizations have been built up and destroyed over the centuries) and relationships;perhaps cities, roads, homes, and things such as health and happiness.

    But then I read on; and yes, books will eventually crumble, go back to the earth (as do we all).

    As for Kindles, I have one. I DO like it, but I know what you are saying. When we moved I got rid of a lot of books (of necessity). Tons of them; but I am still surrounded by my favorites. And if ever I buy poetry, I buy in hard copy form.(And my poetry books I will keep forever…) Cannot imagine reading poetry on a Kindle.

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