Thursday, November 15, 2012

seldom is the day

Seldom is the day that I go into a space that sells used books and I can find a copy of On the Road and Howl on the same shelving but it happened today. I also found, for a buck, a 1951 Ben Shahn chapbook of A Partridge in a Pear Tree printed by the Museum of Modern Art. It's too nice to give to my little Tasmanian Devils. I will keep it for myself.

I was on Youtube today, casually looking over their videos on book scouting and it was slim pickings. One person dismisses using a smartphone to check value of book, another praises them. Are these people aiming their presentations toward rookies? Are they gearing their videos toward clueless fucks who don't actually READ books but are only in it for the money? I was not sure.

I am sure that I won't be checking out those videos anytime soon.

Look - I will say the same thing about getting into the world of used books that I told my sons about drug use: it's not for everyone. Not everyone can handle it.

I am interested in the hunt. I know enough to know that I don't really know enough. Always more Presses to learn about, more authors to research. More titles to find. More sets to complete. Or realize when it's time to cut bait. Start a fresh collection. Discover a forgotten author. A uncollected Press.

There is always more to learn and to know. The adventure is half the goal.

The other half is finding places for your little treasures. I am not a hoarder, if I were, well, I would have nothing but Ex-wives. I have a great wife and she is very supportive of my "gentle madness". She does challenge me to cleanse (my shelves) and I am willing to do that from time to time. If the price is right. I can always fill the open space with new treasures, right?

And now, we are approaching the end of the year - the perfect time to unload.

Still, it's been a good day so far. Nice pick up. I can replace a 1970 23rd printing of Howl and other poems with a 1959 8th printing. Staple-bound copy at that!

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