The Secrets of the Old Rare Books Collector's Secrets
"Piece of Mind"
What I do the most of, these days... as an old rare books dealer (one who finds and sells old rare books) is... ‘leave behind’. Once, before the transition of the bibliomania borderlands to the fore declared bibliomania state of Bibliobooklessness, I took away all the rare books I found and ‘sold them’. Generally this took place “right along” with little “touch” from I, the old rare books vender. The old rare books I found (find) “sold themselves” to the bevies... gaggles and gathers of the Old Rare Books Collectors. Back then... I would purvey the found old rare book and... it “sells”. Now... of days... it is easier for I to... buy the rhubarb pie... and eat it. (Part Six)
Of course it was always easier to do that (eat the rhubarb pie) than find and sell the old rare books... all along ‘anyway’. It is actually (and always was) ‘pretty hard to do that’ (find and sell old rare books). Some... deep within the trade... titled doing that “a special calling”. After fifty years of ‘doing it’... I suppose I agree that “IT”... “IS”. It is just... that now... I have added the ‘leave behind’ the old rare book I found as a very major part of what I do... do...
The ratio (one to one) is that the old rare book now found... cannot be easily sold because... “no one wants it” (or even “knows what it is”) (with that including a substantive admonition; a bibliographically correct annotational ‘promotional puff’, from I ...not asked for). That is the odd duck of this... these days: I, over there, ‘find one’; “a copy of that” and... having a “nowhere to go with that”... leave it behind. It is not just books. Decorative Arts now have black holes in their universes too. But... old rare books are a special calling. Right?
Yes they are. It is a very faintly heard calling. And it is not calling to you. No. You... with your ear buds and phone charger “I LEFT IT OH MY GOD (o-M-GEE). And. Well... THAT... IS the end of the old rare book I found... right there... then...
One day I offered about forty bird watcher identification books including regional USA and international sites... for two dollars each. No one purchased ‘any’ and only a few looked. I put them out on a dollar table for a week and then... threw them out. Last week I offered a group of twenty hardcover ‘antique’ editions Herman Melville books for between six and twenty dollars each. The group was never looked over by anyone. One man asked “What was his first book”. “Typee “ I said... and nothing more. I was eating a breaded roll stuffed with broccoli ... homemade by a vendor down the flea market “lane” from me. She was ‘selling them’ “I think” meaning that she’d actually been “giving them away” “to friends”. Doing that is a flea market science... and has nothing to do with Bibliobooklessness. In fact, she herself is a self declared ‘book less’... “ness”. “I HAD HIS BOOKS IN BOXES DOWN CELLAR (in her basement) BUT I GAVE THEM AWAY”. Those were her father’s ...father’s... old rare books. “HE BUILT RAILROADS” in Maine... she says... fairly often to me. IS THAT MAN’S ghost trying to contact me... about that ‘horror show’ of the destruction of his “library”? It doesn’t matter. IF the books were “anything”... a “somebody got them” and they are “OUT THERE FOR SALE SOMEWHERE”. With no one... buying them... “TOO”. (Bibliobooklessness).
Are you okay with this? Or do you think your going to do something about it (Bibliobooklessness). What are you going to do? Pick up what looks like an old rare book to you and look at it? Fumble with it? Ponder it and its shelved companions? Tell your friends that you saw one (an old rare book) and it... seems to be... speaking to you?
“Speaking volumes” they say. Yes. That... is that... ‘so stupid’. Just go away from ‘treating’ this subject. Put the old ...not... rare book down and ... no you didn’t buy the rhubarb pie either (“too sour”) and NO:
The black hole in the universe calling Bibliobooklessness is “low battery” “Dismiss?”
The Faithful Healers of Bibliobooklessness? Yes they are around. I started this essay with one; her books in boxes in her basement; they are the overflow from her shelves. The shelves are the bookcases in the cool dark room. The doggie in there is Benjamin. The ‘accident’ on the floor in the dark is Benjamin’s. The books ARE a collection. This is not Bibliobooklessness. It is not Bibliomania. It is... a... biblio accumulation... ‘sort of pretty much’.
A good job? Yes, these days. She’s stuck at it for forty years. “At it” “Since I can remember. “Always her hand; a pink puffy hand, holding an old book. “What do you think of this she regularly asks. I stop, look and biblio concise and polite state... my world view of her ‘of this’ old rare book. I stop, drop and roll. I enjoy that; seeing someone else’s old rare book they ‘found’.
She has a cell phone. I do too. Neither of us can ‘use them’. Even answering them is a technical challenge. Benjamin is in the car. Left there until the boundaries are clear for his “walk”. The table is set out with cookies and, again (Part Two), shortbread. The shortbreads have been broken. When the book collector takes the book she showed me back to her car, she returns with Benjamin on his leash. She brought the book to show me; to show me alone. That is a very high compliment. I know this at the time. And treat it so. The book is nothing. But it is better than it could be. I compliment it... in an effort to ‘get it shelved’. Otherwise it goes in to a box. Which box... “I can’t remember”. I’ll bring that book up with her again. When I visit her home. To try and sell her an old rare book I found. The point of that bringing up would be to get us to move into the cool dark bookroom (including ‘watch where you step’). Once we are in the room of her old rare books... maybe something may come of it. A flirt. Intercourse. Nothing sexual you reading fool. A flirt of old rare books perhaps becoming old rare books commercial... intercourse.
In a cool dark room. With Benjamin her doggie and his ‘got to be one around here somewhere’ accident.
What happens... “now”... “from here”? “IS” (there must be) a secret to a secret that is a causation that brings Bibliobooklessness to a shuddered stop? With a hand on an old book; an old book in my hand, do I... can I... does it, will it, can it and... out of the biblio black hole the old rare books... a... ‘walks back’?
I do find myself in the cool dark book room of the old rare books collector and I do hold an old rare book but I do, too, carry a skeleton key
Of a book...
Another secret of the secret of the information of the secrets
From an old rare book collector’s secrets
From another ‘long ago’.