Last weekend, Tito, Scott, a few other fab folks, and myself went to the annual Big Book Sale at Fort Mason. What you see at the right is the haul that I came away with. (Scott’s acquisitions can be found here. Tito’s too is somewhere. However, it can’t be by accident that RotR fave Anthony Burgess lauded one of his serendipitious finds.)
There are fifty books in this photograph. And heaven help me if I had actually managed to venture past the fiction and history sections. These book were often selected on the flimsiest of pretexts, even when I was strong enough to purge and put other books back. I did manage to find So Little Time, a rare out-of-print collection of John P. Marquand’s essays. However, none of this did not stop me from forcing books into the hands of my companions, urging them in the strongest possible terms that they had to read certain books. Moral of the story: you do not want to be near me when books are cheap and I know your reading sensibilities.
Understand that this is the result of a mentally unbalanced man. Where others have drugs and pornography as rampant addictions, I have this whole book thing to contend with. I don’t know what I was thinking when I loaded an entire shopping cart with these babies. But I can certainly confess that I was feeling. Perhaps too much. Certainly, it was the proverbial tale of a kid let loose in a candy store failing to consider pragamatism, let alone self-control. It is this addictive component of my personality that has caused me to avoid video games and television like the plague, devoting such ardor to better things.
Scott Esposito, who is a far more practical gentleman than I am, was kind enough to store this unbelievably ridiculous load at his house for me to pick up later. It occupied four bags and weighed approximately thirty pounds.
I have enlisted a team of friends and professionals to ensure that I do not set foot near a bookstore or a book sale for some time. To encourage me is to release a recovering heroin addict without methadone.
If humans had not invented credit cards, and if books were not full of such interesting things, then, of course, none of this would have ever happened. I would be one of those safe and easily tractable beings getting excited about American Idol. So like Rosseau revealing his closeted sexual interests in his Confessions, I am here to tell you (if you hadn’t guessed already) that I am a book freak of the highest order. I need professional help, for I am nothing less than a moth attracted to the flame.
© 2005, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.