You might think that this post is about the ill-fated restaurant in lofty Manhattan that booked its place in history on 11th September 2001, occupying as it did the uppermost floors of one of the two stricken buildings, with the tragic loss of many human lives. But, in spite of the poignancy of that story, it is not what I am writing about today. That notorious episode of modern terrorism has already been covered by others far better qualified than I.
I have to confess that I suffer from a mild form of brown box syndrome, a common condition caused by the remarkable ascent of Amazon, a company that has single-handedly transformed the retail industry, hammering as it goes on its merry way massive nails into the coffin of the High Street.
While I do not exactly crouch expectantly behind the front door, salivating in eager anticipation of the arrival of my packages, I do look forward to receiving them. My favourites are books and, in spite of the attractions of Kindle and ebooks, I still buy the print versions, which give a subtly different reading experience. In case you wondered, I do purchase the electronic variety too. My mastery over instant gratification has not yet achieved a high enough level to pass these by.
It struck me just today, after receiving two highly rated paperbacks that tackle the fascinating (and, I believe, important) subject of cryptocurrencies, that books are truly our windows on the world. We can get high quality information almost instantly online, but to get a story and a perspective, and to explore a theme in depth, there is no substitute for a book. Newspaper and magazine articles, now almost universally available online, meet this need in a limited fashion but for comprehensive treatment you need the full works.
When we buy a good book, whether fact, fiction or something in between, we get a fully integrated view of an area of life that is important to us.
The Knot Garden, which itself facilitates multiple abstract views of humanity, advocates investment in thoughtfully conceived and well written books that present us with unique and insightful windows on the world.