Friday, June 19, 2015

Worn Collars - Part Nine - "Port-Ah-Potty"

Worn Collars

Part Nine


            Did I not just finish with this; the “how much?” (is it worth) of the old, rare book?  Didn’t you just look your old rare books up on your own smart phone and
            Discern how ‘valuable’ they are so making the ‘how rich you are’.
            “Keepers” aren’t they:  If you ‘put enough money on them’ (price them high enough)... they’ll be your
            “A bloody mess” it is selling the damn things (‘old books’).  Don’t forget to figure in all your... when your hauling your “BOX FULL” of “OLD BOOKS” around on the back seat of your “I GOTTA STOP AND GET GAS FIRST”.  No questions about it; you are off to a start.
            I don’t want the books.  I don’t want the box.  I don’t even look
            At them or
            It (the box).
            That stays on the back seat of your ‘car’.  I don’t even look at the computer page print outs ‘proving’ ‘how much’ they (your old books in the box in the back seat of your car) ‘are worth’.  Don’t forget to pickup another ream of paper for your printer... on your way back to
            Your desk
            In your old... rare... book

            Did you ever actually read any of those ‘old books’ that you have ‘printed out’ supportive computer gleaned evidence to prove they are ‘rare’ ‘books’?
            I didn’t think so.  Not that I thought about that.  I just didn’t even look up from my old rare book room desk in my old rare book room where I was... ‘working’ on the ‘my own’ ‘rare books’ I found myself without
            Actually they (the box of old books) never get to my yard.  I deflect the ‘it’ and the ‘you’ well before that happens.  You know how many people there are who think they have old books that are valuable AND have never ever read even a few pages of ONE of their “RARE” books?  Looking at your box of ‘old books’ to me is like... having NO CHOICE but to use the plastic port-ah-potty at the mid afternoon sun beating down on it DAY THREE of the Historical Society’s Fourth of July “Festival” “WEEKEND”.  Yeah... your not using it either I see... “have a key’ and ‘can go inside’ you say... but ah...
 Also say...
            “Ah...” “WOULD YOU LOOK AT” “THE BOX” of “OLD” (“RARE”) “BOOKS”
            You (just happen to have) in the back seat of your car “I’m so happy I SEE YOU HERE.  I’ve been carrying them around for a WEEK.  They’re from my MOTHER’S HOUSE”.
            “Did she read them?”
            “Read them?”
            “The books.”
            “Oh no.  They’re OLD books.  Some of them are quite VALUABLE”.

            So I go into that port-ah-potty.  I mean... what would you do?  Look at her damn books or ...pee in a plastic box... that has the sun beating down on it?  And it’s not like that’s the only time ‘it happens’.  The number of people foisting their ‘old’ ‘rare’ ‘books’ in ‘boxes’ that they willingly assure you that they have ‘never read’ even a page or two of...:  This is why all the independent bookstores have disappeared and the remaining box store - mall parking lot ‘book’ ‘stores’ sell plastic key chains with little LED lights on ‘em...:
            It’s pretty bad.
            And has NOTHING to do with me... at my old rare book desk in my old rare book room.  I just close the door to the whole lot; usually box after box of ‘old books”
            “NOW WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THEM?” you say?

            Ok so we go back a bit.  Rare books actually are rare.  I already said that.  Remember?  What that means is that it is ...let I say... unusual... for an ‘any given box’ of ‘old books’ to have a THAT (an actual rare book).  Especially since that box is full of... BOOKS.  That IS a qualifier; being “A BOOK”. 
Ok so like... what does that mean?
            It means that ‘rare books’ for the vast most part were... miserable publishing failures... for real.  IF... the writer printed one hundred copies of his “PUBLISHED IT”...:  To I in my world (rare books; the hidden land) one hundred copies is a
            Of copies.  Remember (Part Eight):  “No copy located” for sale and five copies in ‘libraries’.  That means FIVE COPIES with “I have a copy I found” NUMBER SIX in my rare book room.  Ok so... FIVE copies ‘known’ is a REAL LOT of copies... unless what the book is ‘about’ (read the book?) is a very “RICH” topic in the ‘hidden land’ (rare book collecting).  Quickly, a couple of ‘other things’ right here.  One such as I SHOULD confirm EACH of the five known copies to actually exist AND be actual ‘same edition’ copies; not copies... of a copy.  Or a ‘lost’ copy.  Or a ‘missing’ copy.  Or an actually  ‘no’ copy.  Or a STOLEN copy that ...could the be then... the MY COPY; a ‘stolen copy’?  Like I said; ‘some other things’.  But you don’t have to worry about that because you’ve ‘LOOKED UP” the “RARE BOOKS” in your “BOX” so know how much they are “worth” AND you have a key to the toilet “inside”.  TOO.

            So I just said that one hundred copies of a book is NOT a rare book.  Simply:  If you do not read that book ...and most others do not read that book... to find one hundred people who want to read that book and will... take their wallet out and pay YOU a lot of MONEY for a copy of that book TO READ; an old book that you... just happen... ‘I have no idea’ ‘ where that book came from’... to have in your crummy box of old books in the backseat of your car...:  It does not happen.  YOU are the proof of that.  I asked you:  “DID YOU READ ANY OF YOUR OLD BOOKS?”
            You said ‘no’.
            Do you pick up your dog’s poop?
            It’s not rare either.  Right?

            So I am in my rare book room with... well let us say that TWO of the ‘known’ copies turn out to be ‘old microfilm’ copies so... yeah... they are not actual REAL copies of the... ah... ‘rare book’ and that means.... only three copies... and the ‘my copy’ ‘I found’.
            So what.
            That’s pretty much it right there for ‘number of copies’ ‘rarity’.  Start with ‘one hundred copies’ and no one knows what happened next and NOW in this day and age I can only ‘locate’ (FIND) three other copies beside my copy... in the little desk drawer...:
            “AH... what about the ‘crazy’ collectors who... find a copy... or two...
            OR THREE...
            And ‘never mention it’. 

            “OH NO THAT SHIT DOESN’T HAPPEN.” You say with... your back from using the toilet inside so ...your back to being pretty sure that your... box of old books are ...rare books.
            And that I am ‘being mean’ to you by peeing in the port-ah-potty instead of “BUYING” your box of “RARE BOOKS”.  I’ll take the hit.
            And realize that my... discernments... as to ‘how many’ of my ‘known’ ‘rare book’ ‘are around’ is gonna have to have ‘a little more work’ before I am the “I’m SURE”.  What does this mean... exactly.  It means this is why rare bookmen like I prefer to find “NO COPY LOCATED” rare books; a truly rare book on a tantalizing rare book subject that no one ‘has a copy’ but “IT IS MENTIONED” in, like, 1869 in the (for example) Maine Historical Society’s ‘Historical Notes” ‘in passing’ as being(?) ‘a book?’ but ‘no one has ever seen one’ since that “THEN”.  I know this seems a stretch but I am just trying to establish for you what an actual rare book IS... in fact.  It is... in fact... a ...RARE book.  And it is 999.999% probably NOT in the box of old books from your mother’s house that she did not read and you did not read and neither of you read “ANYTHING” of substance anyway so “HOW WOULD YOU KNOW” how to ‘judge’ the CONTENT values of a “RARE BOOK” anyway?

            That’s right:  CONTENT VALUE... of an old book.
            YOU HAVE TO READ THE BOOK.  NOT PUT IT IN A BOX of your ‘rare books’.
            Try finding ‘content value’ of a ‘rare book’ on your smart phone.  IT IS THERE but you... skipped it (did not read it; the printed description of the contents of the... yeah you SAW that printed stuff but “I MEAN I ONLY LOOKED AT THE PRICE”.
            “No shit.”
            That’s right;  That’s it these days:  Smart-phone-search-look-at-the-price-ahhhh...
            And your done.

            The first thing I do on my smart phone search is... ‘look at the dealer’; the “WHO IS SELLING THIS BOOK?”  There is no point to a ‘price’ if it comes from an ‘unreliable’ rare bookseller.  A reliable rare bookseller to someone like me is an old establish (‘venerable’) firm with... (at least) “a million” (dollars) “out” (rare books in stock) who do and have done ‘this’ (rare book trade) full time for over a quarter century at least and... then I read...
            Usually having to make a mouse click to get there... the ‘their description’ of the... “ahhhh... rare... book”.  Sorry and no I am not at the price (“VALUE”) yet.  I want all the ‘other stuff’ that is written down; the ‘collation’, the ‘state’, the ‘edition’, the puff (content and its merit pontification), any commentary on any of that AND the funny -usually at the end near the ‘price’- “seems odd” names with numbers after the name of... what are textual and bibliographic references to and about this book.

            Then I look at the price.  And divide that by at least four and as high as “sixteen” to “GET” a street price “VALUE”.  All the stuff I looked at first “effects” the price-divided-by “what, where, why, how, et al”... to get “VALUE”.
            It’s a pain in the ass having to ‘look at all that’ AND ‘factor that in’ so... THAT’S WHY finding no listing; “NO COPY LOCATED”, looks like the best route to the hidden land cash value cash out ahhhh...:  You still following this?
            Don’t worry... you don’t have a rare book... and wouldn’t know it if you did.  Also... your old books in the box in the back seat... smell... too.

            It’s brutal; this rare book thing.  Start by reading something ...beside something like... Gawking.  Something ‘a little harder’.  And work your way in through this; ‘reading’.  Hey:  Maybe this rare book stuff isn’t for you after all.  (“The forest from the trees”?)


  1. Seeing those who suppose about supposed rare, old and valuable books... it's ugly, it's really fucking ugly... IT IS, completely ugly.

  2. There, out in front of Starbucks, in a Chevy Tahoe, on the front passenger side seat, was a brown cardboard box filled with old books, waiting to be appraised and praised.