When I first saw the name of my friend I felt overwhelmed and excited at the same time. I really thought that we had to read the whole book in the beginning. Once the task was clearer to me I found it kind of funny that the tasks where setup in a way that they enable us to know the content of the book without reading it. Searching summaries of books on the internet is something I used to do when I had to do a book presentation in school and did not feel like actually reading the book.
However, this experience was different because my book was published 1661 and it must have been the first time I studied the content of a book this old. This became even clearer to me when I leafed through the original book in the library for task 4. When I was given the original book on a cushion and was told to turn the pages very delicately the book seemed very precious to me. It was also in that moment that I realized the value of preserving books.
When I saw that that there was a pdf version of my book with each page carefully scanned it seemed such a compact and accessible source of information. That idea of digital preservation somehow contrasted when I saw how well preserved the original book was and how much the experience of leaving through it felt different. I noticed a lot of details, especially in the drawings. I did not give the pdf version that much attention when I scanned through it. In the end I stayed longer in the library than I initially thought I would. What I learned from this experience was the fact that a book in its physical form has a certain appeal and the power to pull the reader into its own world, that lacks in the digital copies.
Nevertheless, I very much appreciated the fact that there were a lot of digital information about my book online. While trying to put the pieces of information from the different websites into a coherent text, I usually had a lot of tabs open on my laptop at the same time. Sometimes I would lose patience or get nervous when I found informations about the book that contradicted each other. Through the tasks I learned to deal with the huge amount of informations that is available online as well as distinguishing between trustworthy and fake data.
Eventhough, the friendship felt somehow forced upon me in the beginning, I was glad to have become friends with an old book. Through the process of becoming friends I realized that there is this huge effort put into preserving books and that this is of value because it enables us with our technologies, hundreds of years later, to access that data so easily. Sometimes I wonder what my friend would have said to this pile of information about architecture available online, or even pinterest.