"Dad once observed that personal letters (now alongside the Great Crested Newt on the Endangered Species list) were one of the few physical objects in the world that held magic within them" From Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
I've had an email from Marty Weil in Carolina who thought "given the theme and content" of my blog, I might be interested in his. He's not wrong, I've now read almost all of 'ephemera - exploring the world of old paper', gazing in wonder at the treasure he offers up. Like this example, Little Lord Fauntleroy Fly-away. Who knew there was a term for the stuff you find in second hand books? I've always loved the way these objects provide evidence of your connection to other readers of the same book (even if that person is simply your younger self). I often semi-consciously plant stuff in books for this very reason.
This stuff (which I now know to call ephemera) just gets me. In a small but significant way it makes me ache with a kind of longing. What's strange is that this has developed only recently (emerging as this blog has evolved). I've been thinking about what has caused this emergence and, so far, have uncovered two possible explanations:
Scratching the collector itch - I'm not a collector; I don't have the focus, the discipline or the orderliness; I fear being swamped by clutter. I often have the urge to collect, but because I deny myself, a hole is created drawing me to the collections of others. I love the way blogging allows me to be a virtual collector - I can collect collections (and collectors) without having to give up precious space in my home
Maintaining the tangibility balance - the more time I spend online and on digital communications, the more I value and feel the need to connect with older forms.