October 23, 2014
Unpacking my Library talked about a man’s love for collecting books. Not just for the sake of reading them but the reading explained that to acquire a book isn’t simply about having the information it possess but also about the story of where the book has been, who has read it, and how it crossed its path with his. In this way, his experience collecting was a more than what other experienced when they walked into a book store looking for gifts or something to pass the time on a train. I almost think he pitied those who sought new editions or “luxury editions” because they miss out on the character and life only a used book has. Those who buy the new plain version miss out on what he thinks to be the most important part of the experience of getting a new book.
In Unpacking my Record Collection, Dibbell talked about converting his records and CD’s into MP3 files by using his computer. He explained that he thought this was a good idea because now it made music easier to upload and share with anyone. He used websites like “Napster” to share his music wiith strangers and also take music from them as well. He thinks about who these people are and what they are going to do with his music. He goes on to explain that a college boy who had his own collection of makeshift CD’s also had a love of collecting music and compiling it, not to have the music itself but to have so much information and in turn, history compiled onto a few CD’s that hung on his wall.
I think Benjamin would be appalled by this method of collecting and sharing. He talked about the sacredness of having a relic with a story and history behind it, Dibbell talked about having information files as being glorious. Files that were stripped from their places of origin like CD’s and records that would have the story, in this way, one is glorifying having the actual piece while the other focuses on the essence of the file – stripped and sterile, with no story behind it.