|Dropping Acid With Alligators
I have deleted this the first sentence, now five times, each time bringing up the possibility for new subject matter. You can't really let the lack of focus get in your way.
I have found a couple of thrift stores in the area from which I furnish my home, in the fashion of Americana crapola, which is not to say there is a lacking of inimitability hearabouts.
Mediocrity, and how I love it, that was my original theme, even though my sincerity towards the premise might vacillate.
Like with old cars being classified as antiques, there is probably a minimum of years for the idea of a book being first edition to mean anything. But I got this first edition hardback of James Clavell's, King Rat, yesterday, for a buck, and though yellowed somewhat over the 43 years of its life, it is still like pristine, maybe never read, or only once perhaps, and I am happy about it in a way that defies logic.
I'll go stare at the same old tired thrift store book shelves over time, even if they don't appear to restock them but once a year, just in case something has slipped in. When I was a kid I started out to be a bibliomaniac and then when I started vagabonding I off-loaded and became bookless, a frequenter of libraries in whichever town I landed. In New Orleans, the last year or so of my stay, I spent some money on fifty cent paperbacks but when I left I gave them to that nice lady running the crackhouse around the corner.
And so my default for the last many years has been to go bookless, even though lately I've noticed my shelves getting kind of heavy with books ( I did bring a handful of books from New Orleans, the Hemingway and Fitzgerald hardbacks, and the Algren, a Bellow, a Brautigan or two, and a box set of philosophic thought sampling the entirety of man's recording of such) and now it almost seems as if I am heading towards that former addiction I enjoyed which required not just the reading of books but the possessing of them.
In my last two hauls I've done well, from two different thrift stores in the same town, and I'm not blurting out which town, because growth is coming, and with it, the savvy entrepreneurship which causes inexorable sadness and the end of 5 for a dollar paperbacks, and dollar hard backs. I've gotten over twenty books for less than 20 dollars, half of them hardbacks, and off the top my head, authors such as Bellow, Cheever, Barth, Plath, Marquez, Clavell, Oates, Heinlein, Auchincloss, Percy, Doctorow, Stevenson, Parker, Coupland, and that's all there is to happiness--simple tricks, and your willingness to give in to them. I also added to my thrift wardrobe, a two buck shirt, Izod's contribution to the paisley theme, and you know how I love my paisley. Somehow, while my attentions were directed elsewhere, the alligator dropped acid.
The Housebreaker of Shady Hill--and other stories. Great stuff. Stuff that seemed boring to me as a youngster, but is really hitting home now.
Yes, great stuff. The Enormous Radio--and other stories is great too.