This short essay considers the increasingly nostalgic life of physical books. From immaculate leather-bound collections to “dummy” libraries, in private homes or department stores, since at least the mid-nineteenth century, old books have enjoyed past-directed affective relationships with users and consumers, communicating continuity with, appreciation of, and longing for aspects of time past. These relationships, falling along a spectrum from library-as-utility to library-as-simulation, can be mapped onto different kinds of nostalgic experience.

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