Saturday, October 28, 2006


More new books and book news

Every so often I order some remainders from Daedalus. This month their catalogue had some irresistible books, and the big box arrived yesterday. What prompted my order in the first place: they have inexpensive copies of Book Row, a fat anecdotal history of New York City bookshops in their heyday (Carroll & Graf 2004). I already own a copy, but I'm glad to get a few for the shop. I ordered around fifteen titles in all; my other favorite item is Letters to a Spiritual Seeker, the letters of Henry David Thoreau to his friend Harrison Blake (norton 2004). I think I've already mentioned that Thoreau is one of my best-selling authors here at the shop, but it bears repeating. I opened the book at random yesterday and read this, from 1856:

"... I should not care if I sprouted into a living tree, put forth leaves & flowers, & have fruit.

I am grateful for what I am & have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite - only a sense of existence. ... O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it - for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment. ...

Have you got in your wood for this winter? What else have you got in? Of what use a great fire on the hearth and a confounded little fire in the heart?" (p.142)

Fitting thoughts as we head into dark November later this week: Got your books stockpiled for winter? Got your wood in? Feeling thankful? Good reminders, all.

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