Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Notes to self

This should be engraved on a handsome plaque and placed where I can meditate upon it every day: Thou shalt not buy damaged books. Condition, condition, condition! I've been cleaning out my stock area for the past two days, hence grumpily revisiting all the books I've bought and then stuck back there, thinking Hmm, interesting, I'll get to that someday soon. Great books that need some work to become saleable. Great books that happen to have missing spine cloth, or need glue around their hinges, or need to be resewn, or completely rebound, or are signed but in terrible condition. Somehow they've piled up like windrows in the corners of my stock shelves. Who put these books back here? Was it really me?

A second plaque could read: Thou shalt not accept donations. Though this is more problematic - because some of the books are always decent and saleable and of course we always want those and in fact deeply appreciate them, but the rub is that most donated books are desperately wretched and must be immediately put in a box out of sight and then stored somewhere until I can make a Salvation Army run. It's been a while, so I have ten such boxes sitting around. Tomorrow morning, they're finally outta here - I'm ruthless. I'm also frustrated, because I'm notorious for being fussy about condition, and yet I find I've still ended up with heaps of junky books taking up already-narrow passageway space and valuable linear feet of bookshelves.

On the up side, I also found a lot of genuinely great books I forgot I had. Good signed books, some things I meant to put on eBay sometime, a few things I'd set aside for any possible future bookfairs. Books with no issues whatsoever. That part made up for handling all the junky books for what seems like the tenth time (This again? I bought this ten years ago, and I still haven't had it rebound?? Will I ever?).

Had enough Morley for now? If not, I have more. My collection isn't boundless, but it is deep. My affection for it might be boundless -

Yes, please. More Morley.

Definitely more!
Thanks you two, you got it.
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