Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Worn Collars - Part Twenty-Five - "Comprehension"

Worn Collars

Part Twenty-Five


            Established, after twenty three chapters (blog post parts) of ‘cider straight from my cellar’s barrel” (are you gassy?), I now feel I may return to ... Chapter (Part) One with the ‘rotten man’ and he being a ‘rotten book collector’ including... his attendant housekeeper and
            He; Arlington St. John, the ‘is dead’.  And
            “SHE” inherits; the housekeeper inherited ‘all of it’ (Arlington’s estate) and
            The reader is now ‘of backgrounded enough’ to understand that I...
            Purloin this
            Bibliomaniac’s estate?

            With reservation?  Obviously I had ‘reserved’ a ‘spot’ for I... ‘to do this’.  It
            Is true?  Or....  No:  I have already written twenty-three chapters ...paving the road ‘to do this’ for you so
            Just an ‘over iced smidgen’ more (Part Two):

            “Like***, put out a catalog that had, among other items, 300 postcards depicting New England factories priced at $900, and another listing of some 350 brochures, plat maps and other ephemera on the development of suburbia in the west,  This was somewhat more formidable, both is size, importance and price.  He had this at 27K or 32K – I don’t remember which.  I mention this and will get back to it, as I consider these listings to be of the utmost importance in your understanding of how to go about developing a successful rare book business, as well as understanding”...

            That this is what I do... so.... I guess before I screw the nice Maine girl (housekeeper) out of Arlington’s ‘old books’, et al, I should take you exactly there too; to I ‘sitted’ at my desk and:
            “What are you looking for?  What are you doing?”  These queries... are answered above in the Zinman quote and defined in the quote as “the utmost importance”.... “in your understanding”.
            The vision is Americana.  The bibliomanic obsession is Americana.  The commercial market is Americana.  “You are not going to do this selling modern firsts on ABE, Amazon and eBay” (Zinman, ibid, pg. 5).  Is Emily Post Americana?  Is Emily Dickinson Americana?  Is Tom Sawyer Americana?  Is Huckleberry Finn Americana?  Are three hundred postcards of New England factories Americana?  Is this what I actually do?
            Yes or No... or... “You GO” (Part One).

*** :  Michael Zinman, WHAT DOES RICHARD CHENEY READ?  Annals of Collecting : 6, No place (Ardsley, NY?), 2014, page 4.

            I am tired of it (all that is outside of bibliomania) but I fled a half century ago.  And die across the borderlands and in the ‘of bibliomania’  If I die doing at my desk this ‘it’ I:

            Pick up one wisp of folded printed paper and... by then... of furtive glance (Part Fourteen)... I have already ‘seeking’ seen ‘it’ and then only follow in delightful child’s play... ‘sitted’ in my children’s sandbox of an ‘old (rare) bookroom desk’.  The opiated frolic of the furtive glance now perished, I must ‘am alone’ with the ...details... I will call them... of the furtive found so... to no old bookman’s surprise... relish my raking eye overview of the ‘printed wrapper’ and my obsessive turn to the ...title page.  The imprint at the bottom is first:  “WHERE WAS THIS PRINTED?”.
            I start with that “THIS” discerning it having been printed “for the author” in “Exeter, Maine”.  He... the author... is of.. SOUTH Exeter... Maine.  “OH metropolis... of Maine”.
            “Where the fuck is that.” ...you say.
            And should say because an imprint of that remote address is... worth saying that for.  Saying “Thank you”...you do too to... your appendage; your smart phone affirms “Exeter, Maine” IS... “remote”.  It is “remote” back then, today and... to this day.  

            My eye rolls upward on the title page to denote the author “BE THERE ONE?”.  Yes; a “L. S. French” is “By”.  And it says “By” too.  Then my eye continues upward to the title.  NOT the big words title “AMERICAN GINSENG”.  No... the twiddle ‘bottom part’ title: “for the ginseng hunter and grower, with full cultural directions and illustrations from life, with a brief sketch of its early history”.  LEARN TO... notice these twiddle part titles, READ the twiddle part titles and... comprehend... the twiddle part titles.  Right here is a mental and physical bridge to cross for you... old book person:  “READ” is different from “comprehend”.  I work with and around many who can ‘read’ but do not ‘comprehend’ what they ‘read’.  This is a very... very... big bridge to cross. Particularly the ‘small print’ ‘points’.

            So, here, in the reading, I am delighted to comprehend that the author includes a ‘brief sketch of its early history’ of, well, hunting American Ginseng in the (Exeter) Maine woods...?  DOES HE?  And I will find out... and...:  Either way... “cool”.  Then the next upward the my eye goes to the little bit bigger twiddle title line reading “A... Practical... Guide”.  “GUIDE” means this guy (the author) endeavors, by writing what he intends you to read and... UNDERSTAND... (comprehend), a ‘his prose craft’ GUIDE... and a ‘practical guide’ it is intended to be TOO... to this

            “AMERICAN GINSENG”.  This is the long ago by my furtive glance... denoted banner title that... well... both words caught my eye... created my absolute attention of interest ‘in this’... old book (old pamphlet in printed paper wrappers).  MY... eye... read... those two words and ...comprehended... that both words...: “American” and “Ginseng” spoke of a ‘rare topic to find ANYTHING printed ‘about’ in addition noting that “American” carries ‘Americana’ TOO and the ‘Ginseng’ is ‘of natural history interest’ (“botany”?)... especially American natural history... TOO... and I
            Did that way back in furtive glance so... back to “GUIDE” and ‘Brief sketch... history’ and author “by” and imprint and
            “This is great!” is the first ‘is this a good rare book?’ from the field report.  Then I start to really play with the ...old (rare) book...:  I ‘go through it’ discovering a ‘tipped in’ (glued or pasted in) ‘broadside’ at the front inside cover and another tipped broadside slip at the rear front free end paper with this... scrap of paper... denoting “South Exeter” ‘June 28th (in pencil) 1905... a ginseng order-from-the-author directly printed.... PRINTED!... wisp WITH a forty word (?) PRINTED AUTHOR SIGNED pencil note covering the bottom third... with this tid-bit extracting a “Yikes!” and “Cool!” from I... at my book room desk.  

            Further flipping reveals the photographic printed plate illustrations of the title quarry AND that there is considerable (44 printed pages) of “on and on” tiny print text TOO... so... “Like what does that say?” meaning...
            “Probably I should read this” cover to cover... and... comprehend what I “READ” to determine “IF” this ‘is as good (quality of content value) as it appears to be.  I do not read it “TODAY”.

            And just for the record... how do I ‘read this’ anyway.  I generally, having in fact hundreds of thing to ‘READ’ and “comprehend”... and NOT considering this to be a burden... poke at ‘em along.  For example, a few ‘neat things’ (old rare books like this Ginseng pamphlet) are ‘around’ my work areas in the buildings so I, when I sit down for a moment from, like, stacking firewood... or ‘same’ I... read a few pages of... a this... or a that...  That works real well.
            OR:  I could just take it with me to the Mall... Food Court.. and read a few “SOME” there.  No one has ever bothered me ‘doing this’.  And, for the record again; ‘comprehension’ of what I read... is “HIGH” at the mall (good working conditions in fact).

            Cool.  Huh.  But what’s the most ‘cool huh’.  FINDING THE PAMPHLET.  And knowing (comprehending) right there that this is good (“GREAT”) “no copy located” old rare book Americana.  None the less... I do this... at my desk... with these printed wisps I find... is what I do.  Slowly, steadily, happily.  For ever... I have done this...  

Soooo... Getting this American Ginseng ‘thing’ to ‘on hold’ it is ‘set off’ and... usually... ‘lost’ (in my old rare books) for a year or so, chanced upon, read, delight in again, lost again, around again, found again.  Priced?  Anywhere, all along the line it has a ‘price’ “to you” should... you ask.  Generally you... and Mr. & Mrs. No One... does... not ask.  “What is the price?” you say.  It is “I decide”.  There is no one for me to ‘ask’. The word ‘comprehend has a lot to do with that... “Ah....”... but I don’t sweat that;  It’s about the ...rare book... not the money.  If the book is (comprehend) good enough and content good enough, physical rarity good enough and ‘attractive’ good enough... the ‘it all’ of ‘money’ takes care of its self.  Maybe one day it (this pamphlet about American Ginseng) “turns green” (“sells”.)  And... as I have long, long said... while seated at my old (rare) book room desk... “It is surprising what sells”.  Actually... it is not ‘surprising’ presuming one ...comprehends... Mr. Zinman’s helpful insight of “to be of the utmost importance in your understanding”.

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