Thursday, October 4, 2012


Today I am writing about our visit to the MASC as a class. I had never been to the MASC before and was shocked that Washington State University even had this department. I assumed if the school has such a program and resource available to students that I would have heard about it before now. I have always had a passion about old books. To me, there is nothing better then sitting down with a heavy hard back book, opening its pages and smelling the parchment and dust that accumulates with age. Older books hold a wondrous mystery, sometimes you find notes and letters written in them. That is an exciting event because it gives me insight into the life of the previous owner of the book. In addition reading notes from other people can give me insight into the text by what they say, if its not insight then its entertainment over their misunderstanding of the text.

I personally love reading books, the task of turning each page, marking my place and feeling the weight of the book make me so happy. There is such an exciting feeling when you finish a 700 page book and can put the heavy book back on the shelf. I can't lie, its very alarming to me that ipads and kindles are so popular. I love the ability to read the news online and read things on the go, however I fear technology. What if some day in the future our kids dont even know what a book is? That would be the most depressing event ever.

I honestly didn't worry about this until about three months ago when I was in the Apple store and a young boy was playing with an Ipad. The little boy must have been around 3 or 4 and I remarked how funny it was that he knew how to use an Ipad at such a young age. His father told me that the pervious day the young boy was looking at a magazine and he tried to swipe the page to turn pages. This is extremely alarming!!! The library at my house is one of my favorite places, entering a room where the walls are just filled with books and being able to walk around and select what book I want to read is like a ritual. Its calming and its wonderful, its been done by people before me for years and years to read exactly the same texts that I read. Its simple and wonderful in every way possible.

Overall, I have an extreme attachment to printed books and knowing that the MASC is available for student use is very exciting! I can see myself working in a library in the future.


  1. I feel the same way you do. When we were told that we were going to the MASC I thought that we would be seeing non interesting things. But lo and behold it is a beautiful secret that few people have access to. I was surprised to see that our library had such a wondrous collection of history. When our tour guide (I don't recall his name)took us to the depths of the library I felt like a little kid all over again I wanted to grab one of those books and just sit right there in the floor and start reading. I felt so honored to visit such a place. I always wondered what that place was and thought that the only books there would be current ones. But no they have really old books. What fun those librarians have to be able to read stories of people from the past and be able to speak to them through books. How amazing I believe that this area is not acknowledge as it should be. I for sure will stop once again and ask to see one of their many books. I just have to say it is a very nice place to visit and travel into the past.

  2. I agree, I found the visit to the MASC fascinating. I love the thought of reading a book so old, knowing that someone so many years ago turned the same pages, looked at the same text but had their own ideas about what it meant. The annotations and messages written in the book add an extra charm. Reading books that were once part of someone’s personal collection is like travelling back in time, and I find it so interesting.
    The library the tour guide showed us reminded me of my summer job. I’ve worked in the archives of the Church of England for the past few summers, so have had the chance to see some really interesting old books and documents. So I found the visit to the MASC especially interesting, as it is not something I thought I would find here.

  3. I agree with all you're saying. The MASC and other collections, such as the one Rachel mentions, are special because they put us in touch with the past in a way that we don't usually get to experience.