Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Worn Collars - Part Six - "Precision"

Worn Collars

Part Six


            Having now introduced the... I will title it... ‘the imbedded’ (old) (rare) book room and its imbedded attendant (shelter seeker; a man fleeing) I will now rebuild the reader’s naive faith that ‘rare books are rare books so a rare book room is that (a room full of those) with, therefore, its attendant being a ...rare ...book ...man (“rare bookman”) and that... a fifteen second glimpse-through-open-door (Part Two) does show... “NICE” “OLD BOOKS” shelved in the room making that room a “NICE” room and its attendant ‘rare bookman’ a
            Old book collectors are generally considered to be ‘nice’.  Though distant... meaning both ‘kept at a distance’ and, themselves, ‘distant’ (from, for example, the Mall and (factory) Outlet shopping crowd).  That doesn’t matter for the whole universe of those wholly outside the rare book room precept (‘imbedded’ ‘fleeing’) pay no further attention (to anything ‘rare book’ at all) after about seven seconds of their fifteen second total ‘peer in’ time of the ... old ...rare... book... room.  But...:  There are, in fact, a ‘few’ ‘further curious’ ‘peek in’ sorts.  These be the “THOSE” who “THINK” there “ARE” “RARE BOOKS”... a... secret land.
            Well... they (these types)... are right.  They are not particularly good at being ‘right’ but... they are right:  There is a secret land.
            And what may that land be?

            Well... first understand that in addition to being a ‘hard to get to’ land that is hard to ‘find out what it is (as a land) to get to... it is also... hard to portray (‘describe’).  I can just sort of ‘shuffleboard’ one along (forward?) from the outside the door fifteen seconds “NICE” view (peek) to... being behind (‘sitted’) at the YOUR rare book room desk... in YOUR rare book room
            Yes; that last word is the right word.  I know... ‘wasn’t what was expected’.  I will proceed, as a generous effort, to ‘get there’.  But one last qualifier...:  The difficulty of ‘explaining’ is that.... with its (rare book et al) back cut (back blade edge)... the REASON it (the rare book and its realm) are successful as a shelter (seeker... man fleeing)... is that:  Lay damnation is not... at all... ‘rare book damnation’ (bibliomania).

            I will start very simply.  I buy and sell... old (“vintage”) skateboards and old (“vintage”) spray paint cans... in the course of ‘my (antiquarian) business’.  I... ‘see’ them and their ‘art’ ‘no problem’.  Their ‘history’ (and design history) too.  I “MADE IN CALIFORNIA” one and “PINK (the color of the paint) CAN NEVER BEEN SPRAYED” the other.  I get it; boards.  Spray cans.  REACHING back in time to art and history that... in their small ways... changed the world.  Shelves lined with collector grade specimens?  “I BUILT THE SHEVES MYSELF”.  We are ‘down in the basement’.  This basement has become an art gallery?  “CAN I TAKE A PICTURE?  I JUST THINK THESE ARE SO NEAT!”
            “You can (take a picture) but
            You may not.”
            This is not a rare-book-man or a rare book room or a ...rare book.  That was easy wasn’t it.  NEXT:

            Again... I ‘very simply’, very easy... ease... into... “it”.  It is difficult to ‘get’ a ‘find out’ in one’s hand to ‘hold’, ‘see’ and ‘read’ that is “explains” ‘rare books’.  I’m not talking of vanity snippets about ‘rare books’ (“HOBBIT FIRST EDITION RECORD PRICE GAWKER”).  Nor am I speaking of the ‘under glass’ cased display of such... and such... a ...rare book.  For example, the HOBBIT copy and its price are “ALL” “inscription”; the author’s personal... “presentation” inscription in this singular copy of the... first printing... first state (“all points”) with dust jacket...:  That’s all you need.  It is under glass so... you will not ‘find that’ at a ‘yard’ ‘sale’.  Soooo:  I state again:  It is difficult to ‘get’ a ‘find out’.  What is one... of those? (a rare book).
            Suddenly we are in the rare book room... ‘sitted’ at the rare book desk... with the window open... “READING” a “MAGAZINE”.  That is the lay deduction.  It is silent.  The reading rare bookman is completely absorbed.  They (“he”) does NOT want to be ‘interrupted’.  At all.  For any reason..  Including “I’M LEAVING NOW DEAR”.  ‘He... has fled’. And, again, ‘he’ is ‘reading’ a ‘magazine’.

            Some ‘magazine’.  “HE” is reading a single copy from a ‘run’ (large accumulated lot of a single publication) he ‘has’ of a small ‘vest pocket size’ (by INTENT)... “booklet”?  No:  “Pamphlet”.  It is ...front wrapper titled and first leaf head titled “THE MONTH AT GOODSPEEDS”. This single issue is “April, 1947 -  Volume XVIII – Number 7”.  That doesn’t matter.  The reader ‘doesn’t care’ or ‘even know’ that.
            And that’s all ‘he’, the rare bookman at his rare book desk in his rare book room, ‘does’ “now” when he is ‘working’.  He has ‘over a hundred’ issues of this magazine.  That he reads.  Over and over.  Over a forty... fifty... sixty year period.  “WHEN DID YOU READ YOUR FIRST COPY OF THE MONTH?”.  A rare bookman ‘sitted’ at his rare book desk in his rare book room will be able to precisely (with as much precision as is needed) (Remember this word ‘precision’; I will treat that usage in this [rare book] context)...  “TELL YOU” “WHEN I”
            All of them?  He reads all of them over and over?  I told you; ‘to get a find out’, ‘fleeing’ and ‘precision’.  The last is sheltered by the second to ‘find’ the first.  It’s that simple.  And takes a... man... an incredibly long time to ‘get there’.  One does not start out ‘collecting’ ‘rare’ ‘books’ by reading an old magazine... ‘over and over’.  One has to learn to do this... after one discovers one can do this... and then actually do this... meaning ...actually do this.  This last is why there is a rare book room with a rare book desk harboring a ‘sitted’ rare book man.  I suggest the denotation that this says that “ALL THIS” is ...not... about the... rare books.  It is about precision... as the active variable that is the... third uses the second to find the first.  The old (rare) books on the shelves are the ‘game over’ of that.  They are, in fact, to the bookman of this room... “nice”... and only that.

            “GOD AWFUL” this is, isn’t it.  One did not think reading a magazine and the ‘all other et al of this sort’ was this... to that... to be the THAT of the NICE BOOKS on the NICE shelves of the NICE old book room.  So you can just ‘go out dear’.  The working bibliognostes will be ‘thankful’ you ‘left’.  That is what actually happens when a rare bookman at his rare book desk in his rare book room is ‘actually working’.  And note here again the qualifier word; ‘precision’.  This, in a subtle first encounter, explains the variable one may discern between the different
            Old rare Book Rooms, old rare book desks and... old, rare... book... men...  et al.

            What, then, is “this stupid magazine”?
            “Breezy” I find it, as a read.  Jumps around; some ‘things’ are long (descriptions detailed).  Others seem but a flirt of ‘attention paid’.  All do... one must notice, have a quasi technical physical description of the ‘offering’ ‘tucked’ into ‘the puff’ (descriptive text).  And a ‘price’; the price THAT OBJECT is for sale for “NOW” (in this case ‘1947’).
            “I ah...”
            EVERY iota, Sir, ‘is something’.  The shortest to the biggest puff... or price... or “whatever”.  ALL bibliognostes (‘crazy people’) STUDY word by word and internally ‘fall short of their self prescribed “I MUST REMEMBER THIS”.  I am lucky to ‘remember’ that I ‘once’ “DIDN’T I?” read a somewhere one time maybe “I THINK”.  Oh no for now we ‘that’; the “I THINK” of the precision falling back... away... slipping away.  But just enough of that ‘feels’ and I ...hold on tight to “that”; an old odd volume from the table saying “BOOKS FIFTY CENTS EACH”.

            It is not a ‘book’.  It is an old... rare... book; a ‘very rare book I believe’.  “I REMEMEBER READING ABOUT IT SOMEWHERE.  WHERE?  I believe... I read about it once... GOODSPEED’S had one (a copy).  I’ll never find it again.  It will take me months in there (his old book room... at his old rare book room desk... “working’ through the stack of “THE MONTH”).  “IT’S IN THERE SOMEWHERE I KNOW I READ ABOUT IT”.
            That’s right.  The old bookman never looks at the nice books on his shelves.  He only... and obsessively... having his head down and his nose in the ‘magazine’s’ ‘gutter’... ‘looks’ at the magazine.  Copy... after copy is, with steady critique “AGAIN”, ‘reviewed’.  And the actual ‘book-he-found’?  WHY THAT is in the... top left hand drawer of the desk... next to the ‘his silver spoon’.  “BEING RESEARCHED”... that is titled.  It may be ‘there’... ‘doing that’ for... decades.  Old rare bookmen are... not in a hurry.  It is the ‘precision’... you say?
            ‘The Precision’ is the ‘rare books’.  It’s not the (actual) books.  But the rare books ‘are nice’.


  1. I as well, know that I once knew things and sometimes search to know them again.

  2. I wonder if the SANCTUM of "Old rare Book Rooms, old rare book desks and... old, rare... book... men... et al." somehow parallels the SANCTUM SHROUD of the eccentric academic at a back table in Stabucks, sitting alone, facing the wall, manipulating a wallet size computer device?