Friday, June 29, 2007


Bibliomorphic book tickets

I think Greg coined the term bibliomorphic - well, I do love it, and here are a few recent acquisitions on that very theme, sent by a bookish new friend in The Netherlands:

We happily exchanged duplicate U.S.A. book tickets and Netherlandish ones, via airmail. Now I've finally had to break down and order a second stock album, because the first is full to overflowing and I have no room for these new items. So, in a week or two when the new one arrives, I'll spend most of a rainy afternoon rearranging my collection. Too much fun - it's almost as good as moving books around! I'm arranging the tickets by hemisphere, country, state/province, and city, and I think it's time finally for alphabetization within cities, while I'm at it. I know I'm past the point of no return in regards to these little bits of paper ephemera, because, along with the new album, I couldn't stop myself from ordering a darling little pair of stamp tongs. Up until now, I've been using a small bookbinder's spatula to clumsily move tickets around, but now it's official, I have paraphernalia. Must be serious, uh oh...

I've had a great week here at the shop - someone even walked out yesterday with a carboard box overflowing with purchased books. Quieter today, though, and I'm leaving an hour early to head to Blue Hill for the art opening tonight. Last year I sold the biggest, best painting at the opening, early in the evening, so the pressure was immediately off, and in fact I was somewhat giddy. This year I'm anxious, but hey, I'm usually anxious, so nothing new there. One very lovely surprise - my younger sister Kate can't make it tonight, so she sent me flowers here at the shop instead. Beautiful roses and a note now grace my desk. She made my afternoon!

Meanwhile, the house-hunting continues. We looked at three places on Wednesday - the one we loved and really wanted turned out to, um, not have a foundation under half of it. I hate it when that happens. It also needs a new well and the heating systems are funky (a mix of electric, propane, and wood - no actual furnace anywhere, probably because, again, it needs, oh yeah, a foundation). Sure looked nice, though! No wonder it was in our price range. Onward.

Finally, I'm in the middle of Sarah Orne Jewett's Deephaven. It was her first published novel and contains the promise of the genius of her best/later work. I find myself wearing a gentle smile the entire time I'm reading, she manages to convey so much, so quietly. I bought this copy at the bookshop up the street - a nice Houghton Mifflin hardcover reprint from 1900, and in the leaves of the book I found a lovely old calling card. It reads, simply, Miss Hammond, in a fine old copperplate engraving style, and could easily have belonged to one of the ladies living in the village of Deephaven. In fact, the absent main character of this book (she's passed away, but her niece and niece's best friend have come to live in her old house for a summer) is named Miss Brandon. So it felt rather haunting when the calling card fell out of the book. I'm carefully using it for a bookmark. Here's a taste of Jewett's prose (p.70):

"...nobody in Deephaven cares for excitement, and if some one once in a while has the low taste to prefer a more active life, he is obliged to go elsewhere in search of it, and is spoken of afterward with kind pity."

Reminds me of my island-time last week - a tiny place with old houses, nothing going on, and no one there - just how I like it. I pick up my pictures from the lab this weekend, so I'll show you what I mean early next week, with a few photos.

surely you're not going to be deterred by a little thing like a foundation, Sarah.
Foundations come, foundations go
It's the *going* part that worries me - will the house crack in half at some point if the frost shifts the ground enough in some severe winter freeze? This worry alone would not normally phase me much, you are correct, but the house had other, ah, issues.

Usually I am intrepid - I don't even require indoor plumbing (see today's post) - but in an investment such as this, for which I've been waiting and planning for a long time, certain compromises shall not be made, I say!
Sarah, sounds like a good call on the house! Who wants to mess around with furnaces and foundations when there are islands to paint and books to buy, sell, and READ!
Hey Vicky - I'm trying to figure out how to do only those things you mention, you're right, to heck with all the other stuff...
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