Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Review: The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt

I don't do many book reviews here, but this book is worthy of a mention because of its fun format. The book is presented as a scrapbook of a young woman, beginning in 1920 when she is 17, and ending in 1928. Every page is filled with ephemera of the era: postcards, food wrappings, ticket stubs, advertisements, photographs, souvenirs, fabric swatches, and more. The story is fairly interesting, too. Even though I never quite made an emotional connection with Frankie, I still wanted to know what would happen to her next!

Here is one of my favorite pages in the book, with souvenirs from her visit to the Eiffel Tower:
I find little trinkets endlessly fascinating.

Here is another page from the book, when Frankie sets up her first apartment in Greenwich Village after college graduation:

The author, Caroline Preston, used her own collection of ephemera, and bought lots more on Ebay, to make the book. What a fun and creative endeavor! If you want to read more about that, here is the author's web site.

Another thing I like about this book is that it demands you read the actual physical book. This wouldn't translate to an e-format very well.

I've been thinking about books and e-books a lot lately because I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas, and I have to say, I'm still on the fence about the whole thing. While I think it's wonderful that practically any book I might want is immediately available to me at any hour of the day, I am so hard-wired to use the library that I just cannot pay money to read a book! On the occasions that I am willing to pay to read a book, I'd rather have the book in-hand to put on my shelf when I'm done. I just cannot bring myself to pay $12.99 for an e-version of a book.

I do admit the e-reader is convenient. I've downloaded many of the free classics, and I am taking advantage of the Amazon lending library available to Prime members (although the lending library selections leave something to be desired). I've even bought a few of the less expensive books available (I haven't paid more than $3.99 yet), but I am going to be a slow adapter to this. If my local public library ever makes the borrowing-of-e-books process more streamlined than it it is now, I will be one happy person.