The Secrets of the Old Rare Books Collector's Secrets
Part Three (B)
The secret of that secret (Part Three [A])... is the ‘obsessive’. I am the obsessive of the handbill throwaway old rare books collector’s secret. That is not a bad obsessive... in the world of the God has damned... old rare books. It; obsessive, at the least, leaves me alone; a ‘without you’... most of the time
And that is just fine.
Yes: Eating the cupcakes (Part One). Tossing Benjamin shortbread. Chattering. Then prattling. Never looking... at print... of printing... on paper... “stock”. No; abstention is the world of the... God has damned ‘old rare books’. I am alone midst the ‘abstain’. May I show you again?
This second absurd wisp of print on paper... is even a ‘too’ for me. But I must... for my eyes did and still do... scrutinize... obsessively. The preliminary standard is simple and ‘met’; it is a broadside handbill throwaway... meeting all criteria... but:
What catches notice of the bibliomane’s eye is... the three colors of the print on the... salmon pink paper stock. Yes: Look. Three colors of print: Red, green and black. On this... what is it... four by five inch paper wisp... informing a ‘we are going on summer vacation’ printing business’ notice. So stop right there. That alone is enough; the three colors... ‘it’ is printed ‘in’. Why? Because this ...handmade, hand printed... letterpress wisp ... would have had to ‘go through’ the (printing) press THREE TIMES to print its stupid message in the three colors. THREE TIMES for a “JUNK” broadside handbill throwaway.
Yes... a ‘too much work for that’ BUT NONE THE LESS... absolutely noticed to my biblio eye... instantly. I am always looking at ... old.... print on... old paper. THAT is a demon in the God’s damned world of the ‘old rare books’. So I ‘see’ that and most ‘no one else’ ever does... ‘except a few’. What is a ‘few’ here, for this “THAT”?
Well we have to look again at the whole handbill... and discover that the MAKER (printer) WAS and is still considered to be ‘once’ ‘one of the’ ‘if not the’ BEST Maine printer... “EVER”... with a hidden collector following who “collect the press”; ANYTHING and EVERYTHING... “they printed”. For example, special collections (‘rare books’) at the Bowdoin College Library hoards a very large if not largest collection of imprints from and by this Maine press. So that gives us... this piece of paper... prominence. Sort of... right? ‘Sort of’ is because... ‘nobody cares’. I mean... you don’t... RIGHT? And I do thank you for being ‘that way’.
I have established the fun of obsessive bibliomane notice of print and emphasized the obsessive of that as being a ...secret of an old rare book collector’s secrets... too. Now I step back to my opening utterance that this wisp “is even ‘too’ for me”. For it is.
My ‘it is an abomination’ is fair found. Although a true broadside handbill throwaway, the actual whole of it... is that it is a disingenuous, contrived... even patronizing... vanity... production. It, in whole and as a whole, is not a pure broadside handbill throwaway... as a classic sidewalk handout (pure) form. What-why? It has to do with the maker who... is (was) very well informed of the delight the obsessive bibliomane finds in handbill throwaway imprints (printing), the STYLE of those... those... as here discerned readily within by the affected faux theatrical language... the three color printing and a.... generally affected vanity FEEL to the whole. It... this broadside handbill throwaway... is a little TOO TOO... for my obsessive street smart old rare books dealer...:
MOST DO NOT know or understand or... anything of any of this. That furthers the points. This handbill throwaway ‘plays’ to a ‘friendly room’. In fact all of this press’ production and including the press itself... play to that friendly room. That is what the title ‘vanity press’ means. That (vanity press) is an old rare books collector’s secret. Dismissing ‘any and all’ vanity presses and all of their production... is a very... very... secret of the rare book collector’s secrets. NONE the less the handbill is a wonderful printing specimen for obsessive ‘looking at’ old print on paper ...training. Or maybe a snug moist piece of the shortbread... will suffice (Part Two).
So... if I am going to throw away this vanity handbill throwaway... as vain... after extolling the workings of my
Upon its old printed soul... what should I... how should I ... drag you along too: Away from the church book sale ‘collector’s table’ (old books the church sale group have corralled as, in their judgment, to be... ahhhh... “rare...books”). I want to drag you over to the church sale’s old rare book “these are worthless” TRASH CAN. That is where they usually offer their ‘better things’?
Now... if one has an old rare book that has been ruined; someone ruined it... they say
Along its way.
Then... “throw that out”
That is why old rare books people... who ‘know’... are always poking in the church sale’s trash cans. Mingled within (the trash cans) including Benjamin’s discovered, removed and neatly packaged in a paper towel... most recent “accident” (Part One) (yes even at a church book sale Benjamin leaves his mark) (and... he flourishes from snippets ‘dropped’ at the baked goods table too)... are a few old books “I find” ‘they threw out’.
I only took one of the cast off old books. Yes it is so... cast off... of me... but I couldn’t help myself. The book in discovery is “dated” (imprint edition date) “1825” so I know that the book... IS OLD. But ruined. What they did to the old book... what some Cretan did to the old book... was take personally chosen newspaper clippings... and such... and paste them ‘front and back’, to every page of the old book. It is the “and such” that interests... us.
I am not going to account this trash can found old ruined rare book... yet. I want to come back to it as a whole... abscess... that I ...lance. The book and its heritage is swell enough (as an old rare book) to be “FUN” doing that... as well as being a sort of swell-fun secret of an old rare books collector’s secrets... along ‘in there’ too. So I step away from the whole book and
Just expostulate on the ‘and such’ I found within.
Okay: The book is an old rare book ruined by a Cretan gluing (today it would be ‘glue gunning’) their selected clippings into and on to... every page. Most all are cheesy newspaper clipping ‘of amusement’ to... and only to... the gluing clipper. NOTHING is interesting about them... at all. I flip through the whole glued pages mess hovering above the church trash can preparing to return the ‘ruined old book’ to its liberation demise of ‘passing’ to the ‘other side’ of God’s damned old rare books... until... all of this taking place in mere seconds... I find an ‘and such’. I find THREE of them, actually, all in a consecutive three leaf glue job (a leaf is two pages; a leaf may be printed on both sides)... with absolutely NO inclusion comment, suggestion or notice in any way from the Cretan Glue who... stuck these three ‘and such’ into the book and... just as rapidly... MOVED ON... back to gluing newspaper clipping.
BUT I AM smitten; I am caught... my eye. I ‘know’. I see. I find. I discover. I discern...”:
THREE broadside handbill throwaways. Yes three, not one, in a glued row. And in seconds (still hovering above the trash can sale table... too... I am raking my eye for “IMPRINT” and “DATE”. I find the former delight (the imprint) in their... provincial obscurity (Vanetten [Van Etten], New York State in the Binghamton – Elmira region; a rural small town then and ‘still is’). I see no date but the third handbill says (Civil War) Northern in its title so... 1860... ‘is fine’.
And what are they... exactly. The three are, each, a single broadside handbill throwaway SONG SHEET... a form of local communication appearing in New England (carrying on a European tradition) in the 1600’s and “lasting” through to... maybe... WWI. Actually... the song sheet... ‘still lingers’. The ‘song’ or ‘poem’ or whatever the printed utterance... IS NOT the point of the song sheet throwaway... although the lyrical content is scanned by ME for... simply... “HISTORIC CONTENT” (relevance). The real fruit of the song sheet is the ...imprint... should there be one... and many have none. MY EYE rakes and delights to find the imprint doing exactly what it is suppose to do: Advertise the printer-publisher and his wares ...in tiny text... at the bottom of the “SONG”. Some kid stood out in front of the ‘his –the publisher’s- store’ and HANDED these three “SONGS” out as a... self business promotion and
SOME CRETAN (see Part One) came along and received three of the handbills, took them with care... home and... glued them in a his (or her?) (scrap) book... an old book...
That I find delegated as a ruined old book in the church book sale trash. How do I get the book out of there? I pay a dollar for it after stating I ‘found it on the dollar table’.
Somewhere within all this is a secret of old rare book collector’s secrets?
Yes. But you do have to look for it. The secret of the secret is... romance.