Look at that will you? Beautiful isn’t it, a pristine brand new copy of John Connolly’s The Reflecting Eye. For those who don’t know, John Connolly has recently completed a book tour of America where he decided to make this book available in an effort to support independent booksellers. You can read more info on John’s blog here but here is a snippet of why he did it –
“…when this tour was announced I decided to arrange a special limited edition of “The Reflecting Eye,” the Charlie Parker novella that had previously appeared in the NOCTURNES collection but had never been published in hardback. I commissioned artwork, rewrote portions, and arranged for it to be bound by a lovely bookbindery in Maine. The bookstores we visit are just paying me the cost of making it, and they’re keeping all of the profits. It’s a vote of confidence not just in bookstores, but in the beauty and value of the physical object of the book, something that we’ve been coming back to again and again on this tour. “
I have nothing against ebooks, I read plenty for review here but let’s face it the ebook is a soulless object, the writing may be the most soulful work on the planet but wrapped in that dull grey kindle glow it becomes disconnected from the reader, you can get joy from the writing but not from the book. This book however is a thing of beauty, immaculately produced, quality paper, wonderful artwork and it smells like a book should. John goes on to say –
“The question that those of us who care about books in any form have to ask is: will the world be a poorer place without bookstores and, indeed, without easy access to printed books? If the answer is yes – and if it isn’t, well, you’re wrong – then we all have to try to support them as best we can.”
That’s a statement I thoroughly agree with. Ebooks are all about convenience, ease of use, possibly even economy, all worthwhile values in their own right but I have yet to find an ebook that can be described as beautiful, something you can hold and cherish and know that in many years time you will still have be able to hold and cherish it and that’s the beauty of books.
Starting soon, I will be revisiting all John Connolly’s works, it’s something I have wanted to do for ages, to go back to the start and see how his writing, characters and mythos have all evolved both in his Charlie Parker series and elsewhere but rather than simply review the books I am hoping to go into more depth and look at his work in general. Consider it a John Connolly book club, so if you want to join me on the journey get yourself a copy of his first novel Every Dead Thing and join in the discussion when I post my first article in a couple of weeks time. It’ll be great to hear what others have to say about the books and hopefully we can build up the discussions as we go, either way if you haven’t read any Connolly this might be the ideal time to start.