Handmade Tales

Automation has made it possible to produce so many objects — from bread to shoes — without the intervention of human hands (assuming that pressing a button doesn’t count). What things do you still prefer in their traditional, handmade version?

I am definitely too young to answer this question. Sure, I can claim I grew up in the 90’s, which means I know the good old days of not being completely glued to technology. I say claim because I really cannot remember much of my life before the year 2000. Point is, basically everything in my life is made from automation, except for that pillow I attempted to sew back in 7th grade. Trust me, I prefer the nice, much more rectangular pillows on my bed right now. 

I do like old things, though. If you read my post from a few days ago about a fictional character entering an antique shop, just picture the opposite of that girl and you’ve got me. Ok, maybe I’m a little materialistic too, but not quite that bad. As a kid, I used to find these antique shops in Connecticut while visiting with family, and I’d just want to explore them all day. I bought a tiny treasure chest here, a wade figurine there, but my most treasured antique was a little brooch; a painted metal four-leaf-clover on top of a golden wishbone. I had apparently stared at it so much the shop owner just went right ahead and gave it to me for free. Ah, to be young and have a face so cute you can convince anyone into giving you anything… 

One particular kind of old object that I love, however, are books. Those leather-bound, handmade books that have the worn-out ribs on the spine are basically the coolest things ever. Sure, it’s much more practical in the much more literate world of the 21st century to spew out paperbacks for a fraction of the price, but if you think about it, those books are going to simply disintegrate in a hundred years. They’re not made to last. I just looked over to my bookshelf to find my copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and it’s a wreck! Books five through seven are looking alright, since that’s when I started getting the books in hard cover, but the first four are simply mangled. People used to have so much more reverence for books, which is why we’re able to recover illuminated texts that have been around for centuries. A few centuries from now, if the people of the future want to read the original Harry Potter series, they’ll probably find a digital copy found on J.K. Rowling’s hard drive, not one of the old paperback books.

Now, I’m a romantic, but I’m not completely impractical. I know that the reading world of today wouldn’t be nearly as large without automated production of paperbacks and the digital world of ebooks. All I’m saying is that I think those old handmade books are so much cooler. Maybe I just think it’s leather-bound books in general. I have maybe a half a dozen blank leather journals lying around my room. Then again, I also have a Kindle, so go figure.



10 thoughts on “Handmade Tales

  1. I love books too! (and have not as yet succumbed to the temptation of getting a Kindle) I love the way they smell and their feel in my hand, and the wonderful way every page crinkles under my fingers. Great post. 🙂


  2. Martí Muñoz says:

    Nice post, I can relate to it. As a matter of curiosity, Sienna, now I’m reading Dan Brown’s Inferno, because I wanted to enjoy it before the movie is relesed… and one of the main characters is named Sienna. Am I in Matrix?


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