I've always had a strong (and maybe strange) reverence for books. Maybe it comes from my parents, who were avid readers. As a Jew, I am part of "the people of the book." When I was in college I sometimes spent food money on books. I was still building bookshelves two weeks before I was due to move out of my college apartment.
Books have always been extremely important to me. As the photo at the top shows, even as a little kid, I used the bathroom as a library so not a moment of potential reading time was wasted.
The sales brochure for the Bronx apartment my parents brought me home to in 1946 boasts of "built-in bookcases in every apartment." Now in 2013, I can visualize only two pieces of furniture from that apartment: the bunk beds I shared with my sister Meryl, and a mahogany bookshelf that later moved with us to other homes.
As a child with an early bedtime, I read books by flashlight under the blanket. Even now, I share my bed with my wife, our dog, and usually a book or my iPad or Kindle Fire.
A hardcover book provides a special experience. Perhaps ebooks will replace paperbacks, but I don't think anything can replace hardcovers.
Torah scrolls are still handwritten, after thousands of years. Grave stones are still chiseled. Initials are still carved on trees. They should still be readable long after the last Kindle and Nook are recycled.
Even though I am the sole employee of my publishing company, my hardcover seems about 96% as "professional" as the similar Tina Fey book from publishing giant Hachette. Even though I've seen my cover design and read the title hundreds of times, I can't resist holding the book, feeling it and studying it. Even though I've read my own words hundreds of times, I can't resist reading again.
I got the idea to write this book way back when I was 11 or 12. I'll probably become 68 in a few months. I'm not sure if this book represents my life's work, but if it does, that's OK with me. I'm very proud of the book (I've never thought that pride is sinful). I honestly think it's a very good book and fortunately, so do the reviewers.
My hardcover book seems so much more "real" than other formats. I'm almost in awe of it and did’t want to mark up the first proof with a red pen as I do with my paperback proofs. It would seem like defacing a library book -- and that's a sin.