Saturday, October 21, 2006


I like my mailman...

...when he brings me letters such as this, along with the usual raft of bills and solicitations:

It's from the Christopher Morley Knothole Association, in Roslyn, Long Island. The son of the gentleman who visited my shop some time ago sent me a back issue of their newsletter. If anyone wants to join the Association, whose "dues and donations support the Association's projects and reading scholarships" the annual membership levels are as follows: $10 student, $20 individual, $25 family, $200 lifetime. Send dues to the Association c/o Bryant Library, Paper Mill Road, Roslyn, New York 11576. Mr. Cohn, who is the president of the Association, also tends Morley's grave.

Speaking of the mail, I am awaiting a copy of Alain de Botton's new book, The Architecture of Happiness. Should be here Monday - and with a title like that, perhaps this is the book I'm looking for, to cheer me up as we head into winter. One of them, at least.

I am heading into the dark days of fall today with a pot of tea, a stack of chamber music by Brahms and a soft, old copy of The Far Pavillions by M.M. Kaye ( thank you, Sarah!)Not a bad way to go!
After you finish the Kaye novel, take a look at her autobiography, the first volume of which is "Sun in the Morning" - so good. Mmmm, Brahms. Though I must say that today I am raging against the dying of the light with some Beastie Boys.
Many thanks for posting this. I just wrote my check for membership.

Coincidentally, I had just finished John Mistletoe. I dog-eared 45 pages; here's what one of them marked:

"The truth probably is that in the matter of stumbling upon the books we most need, and very often don't know we need, we all require help. And better than all the help the mandarins of letters can give us is what a great and well-stocked store does in simply having the books there."

I think Morley is at his most lyrical in this book. I'll have to re-read it soon, though - it's been too long.

When I opened the shop I toyed with the idea of having my receipts made to look like a prescription pad. "Books - to cure what ails you. Take some Keats and call me in the morning."
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