Thursday, October 04, 2007


Catalogue 10, very good in buff wraps

Americana and Literature, with a painless dose of understated elegance from William Reese Company. So much so that I feel bad about the little smudge on the lower left corner. Someone was eating and reading at the same time, imagine that. Looks like a bit of butter and jam to me:

An overused (and misused) phrase these days, but when the cataloguers say RARE BOOKS in this case they aren't kidding. Reading a Reese catalogue is like going back to school. The school I wish I had attended, where subjects like bibliography were taught. Where is that school, anyway? Now it's in Charlottesville, but before that? There wasn't one, it was learn as you go, in the rare books room at the nearest decent library, or at the elbow of an established antiquarian dealer, if you were lucky and could wangle an apprenticeship that involved more than dusting books. But back to the catalogue. RARE BOOKS. To wit: Item 212. First edition, first issue Leaves of Grass. *Sigh* After goggling at the high spots, I find that in general this catalogue is a perfect lesson in careful research. Each item is thoroughly described, placed in context, and provided with its own mini-bibliography. We are told with absolute confidence just what the item is and exactly why it is important. The superlatives are a bit heavy, but completely justified. A pleasure to read, though I think of course about all the fine books I will never never never handle (or even see!) in my career as a bookseller, and I find myself feeling quite sad. Should I have been a special collections librarian instead? I don't know.

Another new painting, this one is actually smaller than yesterday's and a bit rougher - I painted it quickly while sitting on the end of my friend B's dock, two weeks ago now. This little island is down the bay from the dock, in the middle of the channel - it's called Thrumbcap:

It's a day just like this today, here in Maine - hot and blue and still feels like summer. What I am doing indoors I do not know. Easing into my annual bout of seasonal affective disorder? Everyone else seems to be out, because it's sure been a slow day here at the shop.

The University of Virginia is in Charlottesville. Figured I would mention it before the mad horde of Wahoo's, or is it Yahoo's, jump the fence and yell at you!

BTW - I was going through a box of books and found a Scribner's catalogue from the 30s. Has that just short of musty, but still old paper smell to it. 1st Ed. Huck Finn for $250. Oh my.


Doh! How embarrassing. Duly noted and corrected. Thanks, Wayne.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?