Wednesday, November 19, 2008

booking for its own sake

Last weekend I got a reprieve from my wife and was allowed out into the world without my kids for a few hours. I went "booking". I unloaded some books, exchanged a few others, and picked up some more using store credit from one of the used bookstores that I frequent.

Among my "finds" was a 7 page poetry pamphlet published in 1985 by Orchises Press (Washington DC) of two poems by W H Auden, "The Platonic Blow and My Epitaph".

I find that second-hand shops are in some ways better than used bookstores to find unusual material since the folks at second hand shops are less knowledgeable than bookstore owners, typically, and their incentives are different.

I am reminded of the book Booking Pleasure by Jack Matthews and the explanations he had for some of the items he found and some of the reasons he collected what he had. It's a book that I will be re-investing in sometime soon. But for now, I am trying to ween myself a bit of my own stacks of books. And weeding through my own layers of printed material.

I have read many of the books by Tony Hillerman but since his death I have decided to try and finish reading the series featuring Joe Leaphorn. I have been collecting books by Zora Neale Hurston as well, with the intention of reading. Reading and collecting can go hand and hand, but not necessarily. Some people collect book as a form of investment. Reading the books are, often, an afterthought.

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