On the Use of Books

People like me sometimes express disquiet about the future of the book. The digital is taking over. Young people prefer their phones to a paperback. And so on.

This week, though, I learned something that suggests the book still has at the very least a certain cultural cachet.

I paid a visit to the workshop of a craftsman, a skilled carpenter who makes excellent furniture. He was in good spirits, because during lockdown his business has not slumped. In fact it has been doing surprisingly well. Businessmen and others are putting in lucrative orders for bookcases, which they need in order to give themselves an impressive and prestigious background during video chats when working at home.

As Anthony Powell’s ‘Books’ Bagshaw might have put it: Books do furnish a Zoom.


  1. Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Priceless George! I’ve heard the comments on the backgrounds to notable people’s zoom meetings. I don’t have tv so I don’t know what gov ministers hope I think they read. Volumes by the foot (or metre)! Best wishes, Jane V

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Tom Deveson
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink


  3. Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Fake people are like fake news. When these people understand the value of a book, a real private library will be late.

  4. Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Very good!

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