Monday, March 07, 2005


So sick. But I'm at work, and working. I will force myself through this.

But I want to talk about books. I just finished Used and Rare : Travels in the Book World by Lawrence Goldstone and Nancy Goldstone. I loved it. It's non-fiction, about the couples' "descent" into the rare book world, where people easily spend thousands of dollars for a single book. They start with a simple quest for War and Peace. Then they get intrigued by first editions and reprints and marginalia and begin visiting book dealers with whom they need to make appointments to see any books. My favorite line is "Holy shit! We just spent $700 on a book!"

I'm letting myself live vicariously though them. I do not want to get into that world. I can't understand valuing the object over the content. I remember when I wanted to read Moby Dick - we had a nice, gilded, leather-bound copy in the house that scared the little 7th-grade me. I bought the cheapest paperback I could find, immediately broke its spine, and read the most famous book by the man who now is one of my favorite authors.

Besides - I went to a book fair this weekend. I spent $11 and got 10 books. I'd have no money for rent if I spent hundreds of dollars per book.

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