"Nothing In It"
Winding toward the old (rare) book room’s bookman as a self developed predator of old books... with reminding... that he is of insatiable craze for old (rare) books (bibliomaniac). And with that (bibliomania).... I remind... adjusted to a perspective where he; the old (rare) bookman, feels that “I” am doing the right thing the right way with all books; sorting ‘rare’, ‘old’ and ‘what ever’ one book at a time while ‘sitted’ at the old (rare) book room’s old (rare) bookman’s desk... AND... possessing the vantage that “the PEOPLE of the whole world are destroying the world of books if it were not for I”...
With the reader not included as an “I”
For you are not there; in the ‘your old book room’ “fighting the good fight”.
And, in the last two chapters (Parts 25 & 26) I have shown “what I am looking for” that is a “What is a rare book?” by single examples... and “How” that is discovered.
The self centered biblio-I-am-not person asks “AM I... in the MOOD for this?”. ARE the thy-thee ...willing to accept the terms of “Are my books... old (“rare”) books?” and, too, the “Are they”...“VALUABLE?” ...as being... frustrated ‘rooms’ and ‘desks’ with ‘sitted’ men who... will not even look up from their self titled ‘work’ to... express that they ‘hate me’ and ‘think I am an idiot’. Then again say: “AM I... in the MOOD for this”. Well I am not in the mood for your cardboard box full of ‘old’ “THESE ARE VALUABLE” on the back seat of the “my car”...books.
The thy-thee is ‘out’ before ‘the start’. Saying that, I now offer a third example of a rare book as I said I was going to do at the end of the last chapter (Part Twenty-Six).
The book is titled “THE BUDGET”. It is a specimen of American Literature / American Fiction. That subject, I stated, is a ‘vast plain’ upon a ‘vast plain’ (old rare books). It is a “MAINE” book too... a smaller vast plain. I view this old book on these plains from an elevated seat of ‘knowledge’. ‘Sitted’. As best I can. This does me little good. The ‘little’ good is corralled by I... ‘having a copy’ of this old (rare) book. And only that. No one else ‘ever does’ have a copy. How many decades is ‘ever does’ you ask? How many decades do you have? I ask. This is odd for the old book is not without being ‘in collections’. These collections are ‘institutional holdings’ (‘in libraries’). “Oh.”
And ‘no one’ seems to ever ‘have a copy’. Or to have ‘read’ a copy. Or to have... seen a copy. “Heard of the book”. “Know of it”. Or know ‘about it’. ‘Sitted’ on that block of knowledge, is it.
Well... not quite for in 1862 a history magazine*** did post notice that the then ‘old book’ did exist and... could anyone come forward and name it’s author. No one ever did (has). And the book then (1862) ‘disappeared’. Except for recording of physical fact in a few bibliographies (Williamson 10174 and Wright 2643 ). A handful of library collections have a ‘copy’ (but these are, by I, not confirmed for I have never ‘gone to see one’; a library’s copy).
No one knows about this book. Especially in Maine. And... the book is Maine “tales and sketches” too.
*** : THE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE... NOTES AND QUERIES... OF AMERICA..., Vol. VI, Sept. 1862, Charles B. Richardson Co., New York, 1862, page 292. With the query initialed “J. D.”. The significance of this query is that, and only that... it is the only notice of the book outside of ‘rare Maine book’ maniacs, 1830 publication notices and library collection notices (“copies located”). Ever.
That’s enough I said.
If one goes out in the back of the garage (Part Twenty-Three) and starts to try to look for and find this book... one will be ‘late’ for whatever crud one may be late for. But... if one wants to look for an old (rare) Maine book... this one is a fine one to ‘hunt for’. I do... everyday... for a half century. NOT THAT this old book is “ANYTHING”. From the perspective of bibliomania, I remind, this makes the ‘old rare book’ “better”. It is, as a book... biblio... crazy.
The full title: THE BUDGET; OR HUMBLE ATTEMPTS AT IMMORTALITY.
Author: “Messrs VON DUNDERHEAD.”
Title page note: “A book’s a book, although there is nothing in it.”
Imprint: “Hallowell (Maine), Glazier, Masters & Co.”
Binding: Orange coated stock paper covered stiff paper boards front and rear with the “THE BUDGET” title printed on... both... front and rear... and having the publisher’s leather spine with title “THE BUDGET” in gilt gold
199 paginated printed pages.
That’s it... excepting of course, the notice of the title page note that “a book is a book, although there is nothing in it”. One must notice that. The book creates itself (‘is written’ And ‘is published’) and then... implodes itself (“nothing in it”) and nearly has succeeded in “then disappears”. Even though way back when... and ever after... it could be ‘there’ in the cardboard box... of old books.
I’ve read the book. I have the book (“a copy”). I’ve found the book. I always ‘look for’ the book. And: I... have never ‘been around’ ‘anyone’...including Arlington St. John... whom I discussed the book with, showed him the book and... he did not wish to read the book... and I noted that... ...who...: No... nothing at all ever about this book. It is the
“I look for”.
Once you have a few hundred of those kind of old (rare) books; the ‘to look for’... one may be able to ‘touch’ ‘bibliomania’... and it’s assemblage of advantages. One hundred old (rare) books one consciously is ‘look for’... is a treasure trove to carry around with you. One just ‘never knows’. And the dull people are just that; dull. When you look at an old book... they look at you. Then their mouth opens; the jaw drops downward in preparation of utterance. Just put the book back. It’s not ‘rare’ anyway and it is ‘old’ too so that is the ‘only’ it is going to go to soooo... when the utterance turns query of “is it?” I just say ‘it IS an OLD book but “there is nothing in it”.
Now... I feel ready to pick up where I started; “Part One”. And ended. Then began... this biblio sojourn. Yes... a tawdry sojourn... of twenty-six additional ‘parts’... I see. But one needs that to understand how it really ‘is’ with an ‘old (rare) book’.
Now I have told you: “There is nothing in it”.