"The Wicked Inherit"
The wicked inherit the books.
The wicked inherit your books.
The biblio bodies of the dead
Are taken off their shelves
And put in boxes
In the back seats of ‘cars’
The books are driven around
In the boxes
The boxes are shown
Inherit the books.
After the failure to ‘want these books’ followed by the discovery that these books ‘are worth money’ that continues to the boxed books traveling about... to be sold for this ‘worth money’... Steadily they (the books) approach their ‘we are’... ‘getting rid of the books’. After unloading the boxes of books the ‘we are’ turn their back to the boxes and walk away. There is no ‘looking back’. The wicked are done... inheriting the books.
In an early chapter (Part Five), I reminded by declaration that “books are burned” and “readers are beheaded”. Perhaps rash that seemed then? Perhaps now (this far along in this rare book epic) it seems to be ‘more sense’.
When I die my book body will be... put in boxes and driven around seeking their ‘worth money’. Then my book body will be ‘getting rid of’. Setting the boxes “out” at the landfill assures that the moment they ‘getting rid of’ turn their back... my book body will, again, be carried off. Instead of a ‘landfill’ option, perhaps my book body will be a “sold” at a charitable holiday book fair. Or “sold” at public auction. Rarely “sold” by private treaty? No... most inherited old books do not garner that. Their spine ends never get raked by a professional’s eyes, especially by one who pees on the leaf pile too (Part Seventeen). I may say this because I know this because I... do this; buy dead men’s books by private treaty. “I never” “anyone”. “Ever”.
Arlington St. John knew all this. So do the other ones. Benton Shelby “understand fully”. He never did anything about it (this understanding). He left it (his biblio body) “exactly”. I, as I’ve explained, extended his biblio body the sensitivity of continuing his “exactly” as I boxed, moved, barned, stacked and ‘fortressed’ “HIS BOOKS”. Then I started going through ...all of the books this dead man “put together” (his words) “in my (Benton) lifetime.” I am doing a fine job of looking at ... every single book... one by one. Benton was crazy: He left notes in the books ...about the books. I read all of those notes. Generally its bibliognoste stuff that is “super makes sense” to
Someone like me.
“A real plus” having Benton’s whole biblio life work ‘penciled in’ the ...his old books. Why he didn’t write up a penciled folded paper notice about the Byron and Scott early American editions in their shoe box? I... guess he just never got enough of them together to “shelve” and ...no... he knew exactly what was ‘there’ and where the shoe boxed there was...: It was “there” ...too.
You read. You die. You are beheaded. Your books are taken to the landfill (burned). Unless you have a book room
That is “good enough stuff” to causes other ‘old book men’ to
A whole life time’s work. Opening the door to ‘his book room’ there is a rush of
A whole life time.
Can I imagine someone giving me their entire lifetime’s work inclusive of little penciled clues “about”? CAN I? Of course, Stupid: I LOOK FOR THAT. I hunt that. I understand the scarcity. I understand the endeavor. I judge the ability... by furtive glance of the spine ends shelved. I... have identical cardboard boxes that make all traces of the visible spine ends ...disappear... “forever”.
“We are so glad to get rid of those books.”
They never say “We are so SAD to get rid of HIS books”
As a reader... Benton was beheaded. Long ago. He never ever mentioned what he was reading to the “anyone” ever for decades. “They think I’m an idiot. I am.” he told me. Before his books were burned I rescued them. Then I peed on his leaf pile. No one at all ever mentions any of this to me at all? Actually one old fool; a rotten man who was a rotten book collector... said to me one day “Someone got his books. I bet it’s you but I don’t know for sure”.
I didn’t say anything. Arlee didn’t know Benton very well any way. Benton thought Arlington was ‘an idiot’. Arlee didn’t ever ‘get close’ (visit Benton’s book room). Arlington was never gonna pee on the leaf pile. That, right there, is... you know: “obvious”. If Arlington “got” Benton’s books... that would be a ‘wicked inherit the books’? Yeah; it would be.
Benton knew that.
Arlington knew that but would never say it.
I’ve never said anything about this until right now. I mean: Not a lot of people are gonna understand what’s going on here. That’s why; that’s what I figure, becomes a good reason to write this down here. Stuff’s going on with old books that if... I don’t write it down... your not gonna ever notice it.
After the beheading and the burning; that carnage... the old rare books “from that”... “go on”. One by one, book by book... I take a look.
At the book
One single book
At a time.
Then I sell it; that one single book.
Or try to... sell it.
No one reads because they are beheaded so most books are not ever read so “no one needs them” and that becomes the way books are.
Except for the finite destiny of the curious “I want them” (old books) of bibliomania. Deep in the forest of beheaded readers and burned books are... old book rooms. It’s funny... in my old book room how I ‘know all this” and “work at” “getting rid of” my books all the time... everyday... only to have become progressively aware that... I am not ‘going to make it’. I, too, will leave a mismanaged old rare book room biblio body that I did very hard try to ‘not have happen’. I am around (“of”) my books all the time and... so... I do ‘get the picture’ and realize fully my failure. I, the other day, ‘cracked’ a box and “GOD DAMN” if there is not “WONDERFUL STUFF” in that box... that I said to myself that if a bookman was to ‘carry off’ just this one box ‘why he’d’ FOR MONTHS afterward. I know because it has, many time been ME that “did that”. Right now as I type this off I sit surrounded by THOUSANDS of ‘old books’ “IN SIGHT”. Yes: That many... old books... to be boxed up and ‘gotten rid of’... even thought I will spend the rest of this day like every day “TRYING” to “SELL THEM”
Beheaded readers... do not read... even if they tell you they do. They burned their books anyway. Everyone talks to beheaded readers all the time. “No one knows anyone who reads.” Arlington repeatedly said to me for ...forty years. Benton didn’t even bother with that crap. He closed the door to his book room and snuck out the back door to pee on the leaf pile. He left notes for me in his books like “appears to be an unrecorded second state of the map. Notice Errol (New Hampshire) is in larger type than the *** copy”.
And no one will care a ‘one dollar’ about that note, that map and the that book that the larger type “Errol” “is in”.
No: They will not.
That closes the door.
Okay everybody, I will show it the other way. Have you ever tried to sell a true ‘rare book’ ‘worth money’? HAVE YOU?
In order to do that one has to... have a rare book...; find a rare book... then get that rare book... and discover the ‘rare’ of that rare book and... it’s a lot easier just to take the boxes of OLD books around and ‘show them’, then ‘give up’ and ‘get rid’ of them... at the landfill (of one sort or the other). Why don’t I say that the rare books are ... left to the rare book... room... shelves? And that is that? Unless they are ‘on the loose’. I spy a rare book on the loose ...instantly... simply because there are very few rare books... ‘on the loose’. There are abundant old books. But no ‘rare’ books. What is a rare book? It is a book that is sold. Very few books... old books... rare books... actually “sell”. Is it rare-er to sell a rare book than for a book to be rare?
Yes it is.