We believe in books. Actual, paper-paged, bound, printed, physical books. Get a Spine chronicles our search for used classic literature (novels, mostly) -- as well as the places we go and the people we meet -- in our search of works to add to our personal library.
Everyone's definition of "classic" differs, and so we won't presume that ours is the definition. For us, both born after 1975, it almost always (but not exclusively) means anything written pre-1960. It's not always easy to know because publication dates aren't always included, but our search generally tries to limit our scope to any edition of a work published before 1970 ... and we really love finding anything published before 1930. And love even more pre-1900, and so on, and so on. We're not after first editions, but we certainly don't ignore them if they're attainable, though our first goal is to build our library economically.
We believe foremost that great works of literature are a supreme form of art, but we also strongly believe that a book, in its physical form, is often a work of art. Of course, the degree to which it is considered "art" is subjective. For us, if something grabs us visually, we're likely to add it to our collection ... even if we have several other editions of the same work. We definitely have our repeats, as this blog will prove.
Inspired in large part by a love of great literature and a strong belief in the importance of physical books and brick-and-mortar bookstores, Get a Spine is intended to be as much about the adventure as it is the acquisition. It is the moments of discovery, of surprise, and of joy that often accompany an outing in search of used classics that create a full story, and give the book a life of its own -- by the memories associated with it -- once it's in our house.
And we view our collection as something to one day be passed along to our daughter, who we hope will have the same love of books and literature that we do.
Last, but certainly not least, while "the look" of a book is important to us, we believe the books we collect should be read. Our library is not a museum, and we don't want to live in a world where actual books are only display pieces.
Happy searching and reading,
Kristian & Deborah Connolly
Deborah Connolly: Has read Pride and Prejudice eight times (once in Spanish). ... NaNoWriMo 2008 Winner. ... Holds a BA in English because she loves great works of literature, and a Graduate Certificate in Publishing because she needed a job. ... Has had library cards in six states and two countries. ... Top five favorite novels of all time: Bleak House(Dickens), Pride and Prejudice (Austen), Love in the Time of Cholera(Garcia Marquez), Jane Eyre (Brönte), The Razor's Edge (Maugham).
Kristian Connolly: Grew up in Cooperstown, N.Y., which is famous for being the home of America's first great and world-renowned novelist, James Fenimore Cooper. And also for the Baseball Hall of Fame. ... Once spent an 18th-birthday gift of $100 on used classic novels in Madison, Wis. ... Has cataloged and entered holdings for university and state historical society libraries. ... Re-discovered his love of spending time with great works of fiction after spending too many years without them.