Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Mid-week already?

I've spent the morning shuffling piles of books around, customer-less (so far) for the first day in a long time. So I took a break from the stacks to read through the B section of The Reader's Encyclopedia. I think I can do this all month; it should take me an hour to read through each letter. Should. This book is over 1200 pages long. I may skim some of the entries, and I may take a break here and there. Tomorrow for instance, I'm out of the shop to go buy some books. We'll see how it goes. For today:

Badroulboudour. In the Arabian Nights, the daughter of the sultan of China, a beautiful brunette. She becomes the wife of Aladdin, but twice nearly causes his death; once by exchanging "the wonderful lamp" for a new copper one, and once by giving hospitality to the false Fatima. (p.66)

baloney, boloney. Something pretentious but worthless; bunk; hooey. American slang. Cf. the German expression das ist mir Wurst, literally "that is sausage to me," meaning "it has no significance for me." (p.71)

Battle, Sarah. A celebrated character in one of Lamb's Essays of Elia, who considers whist the business of life and literature one of the relaxations. (pp.81-82)

bibliomancy. Practice of prophesy by interpreting the first passage one happens on in a random opening of some book, especially the Bible. (p.107)

bookworm. One always poring over books; so called in allusion to the maggot that eats holes in books, and lives both in and on its leaves. Modern book cloth protects books against the latter kind of worm. (p.128)

Brie cheese. A soft French cheese, from the district of Brie in France, ripened by mold. Connoisseurs claim that there is something poetic about it. (p.143)

There are others I could list (Battle of the Books, box the compass, Buncombe/bunkum), but that's it for today. Go read your own copy. On an unrelated note, I came across this article about the founders of Daedalus. Most interesting tales of book-buying on a monster scale (I'll take six thousand copies!). Sure sounds like a lot of fun, and makes me want to buy more books from them than I already do, now that I know how truly bookish they are.

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