Monday, April 17, 2006

mining the shelves and fileboxes

Those of you who know me, know that about half of my book selling work consists of appraisals and the inventory of literary and artistic archives in preparation for their sale or donation to an institution. Much of this work comes to me through my working relationship with another dealer of rare books, and I'm somewhat restricted in what I can discuss out of respect for the privacy of those who hire us. But something I can discuss is the wonderful opportunity afforded by these visits to the homes, offices and studios of writers, artists, editors and others. Before each session begins, I open myself up a little file on my laptop for notes, and fill it as I go with book citations, names of artists I'm coming across for the first time, specific recordings and even quotes. Here are a few from some recent visits:

Forrest Gander's broad minded collection of essays, A Faithful Existence, takes on a number of subjects somewhat unfamiliar to me, including contemporary Southern poetry, but his passion for the material pulled me through. I ended up reading this through twice in successive nights, an unusual feat for me, as I usually read multiple books simultaneously in fits in starts.

[an unfinished post - more in the morning]

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