Friday, January 22, 2010

red reminds me

Some books I ordered came today, finagling a positive end to what wasn’t a great week.

WS Merwin’s The Shadow of Sirius
Robert Shearman’s Tiny Deaths
Maurice Manning’s A Companion for Owls
Maurice Manning’s Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions
Georges Bernanos’s The Diary of a Country Priest
Chris Bechelder’s Bear v. Shark
Laynie Browne’s The Scented Fox
Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian

A couple of these are true whim purchases. For instance I knew exactly nothing about Tiny Deaths and Bear v. Shark before I saw them lauded somewhere and spontaneously decided they’d save my life. (My mother got me an Amazon gift certificate for my birthday late last year – still $24 to use up...)

On the other hand, I’ve been waiting to get a copy of Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions, and what do you know but whoever it was that the poet gave this book to as a gift (the Mims? - the handwriting is not clear), it now belongs to me with Manning’s signature in the front cover.

“To Ted and Sandra Mims,
With appreciation,
Maurice Manning
March 5, 2004.”

This is the third time I got lucky with a signed copy in an online used book transaction. The others were an Elaine Equi book, and the novel The Art Lover by Carole Maso. This is another reason to love used books - you never know what you'll find inside. A bookmark. Old opera tickets. A profession of love. Some helpful thing.


Kass said...

I've found some amazing things in used books- even notes of professed love of the basest kind.

Peter said...

I prefer others' underlining and marginalia to pristine text, usually. I like going from reading by myself to reading over someone else's shoulder and back again.

Sorlil said...

I really like Merwin's The Shadow of Sirius, some really beautiful poems.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the story is, but one line of the story was a woman searching for a book given to her by her father. She lost it along her travels and feels like finding it would set things right in the world. Isn't it funny how we thing there's a balm to salve all of our troubles?

Jeff said...

Hand written notes, loose or in the margin...old receipts, shopping lists...sometimes just single soft penciled question marks next to a paragraph. Gives the book a secret life...affairs left behind...

So - what will you leave in the next book you trade? :)

- J.

Thatcher Keats said...

Blood Meridian. The most psychedelic of westerns. Yikes.

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