Wednesday, November 2, 2011
It is well established by now that reading this blog is the equivalent of squatting down with your ear attached to a World War One style radio, trying to tune in cracking and rebellious frequencies that cannot hold it steady for more than a minute, in the equation of the big picture.
Given that, in the equation of the big picture, the ramblings of a bibliomaniac equal to the whisper of a flower shaking the dew drops off of its petals, I can comfortably rest assured nobody went deft.
Do not let the title mislead you, this post's intent still is to describe what happens when a bookseller buys books; a bookseller is, de facto, a bibliomaniac in disguise. Buying for the bookstore is just an excuse.
There cannot be a bookseller without a book collector and if you ask any bookseller, are you a collector of books yourself? ( a gentler approach to the cruder: are you a bibliomaniac?) they will immediately lower their eyes to hide an expression full of embarassment and they will timidly reply with a sheepish yes. Their house is packed with books up to the ceiling, they have books in storage and they recently invaded their mother's basement with boxes full of the result of their obsession.
Given this context, whether the destination is their own private shelves or those overstocked bookstore shelves matters little because the bookstore is an extension of their need to collect.
The need to collect will never fade away or be replaced; there isn't such a place as "bibliomaniac anonymous" to go and get treated, and the consequences can be devastating, especially financially, but as Jeanette Winterson so perfectly puts it in her essay "the physiometry of books" I recently stumbled on and highly recommend:
it is all a matter of priorities and the way you look at it: your broken window was skillfully and hermetically sealed with plastic so that you could afford your next fix.
From a practical point of description, when out in the jungle, the book scout is a full on hunter: all the senses are in the alert mode, dueller's squeezed eyes, the hands ready to strike, their mind pushing away every unnecessary thought ( why didn't I use the bathroom before ).
From a psychological point of view, million thoughts travel through the hunter's brain's nerves at the speed of light: Hal needs " reading literature like a professor" and " In the heart of the sea", here they are, good shape, mission accomplished; I already have eight copies of "Little Bee" I'll better pass on this one; if I only found a copy of that Hunger Games series everybody want right now, for the life of me I can never find that book used anywhere; Devil in the White City, yes, Time traveller's wife, deceased ( yes, some books die), help, help, The Help, Jody Picoult, nope, Vocabulary of Chinese medical terminology....mmmyes, dear Millenium series isn't it a little too early for you to die?; oh look a beautiful hardback copy of Stendhal's travelogue to Roma, Napoli and Firenze, I am keeping this one.
And so on and so forth...