Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Vanity of Buying a Book

In Israel, book sales are up, though not all book sellers see it as a reflection of increased reading:

The CEO of Sifri bookstores, Aryeh Almog, said rising literacy led to increased reading, but stressed that "buying books today is a symptom of the newly rich, who buy books so they will not be suspected of a lack of comprehension." Or as Ziva Alfasi, one of the owners of the Lyric bookstores, said: "Books are a kind of fad. A few years ago, people would bring a vase or a useful kitchen accessory as a gift; today, when you go to a birthday party, dinner or even a wedding, people bring a book."

Ah, vanity. But if more books are in people's houses, for whatever reason, perhaps a few more will be read.

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