Friday, August 19, 2005

More books

I've really had the chance lately to do quite a bit of reading. I finished "Oh the Glory of it All" and I thought it was actually pretty good. I still have a hard time feeling sorry for guys like Wilsey and Eggers who are basically loaded with cash when their tribulations occur, but I guess everyone still feels pain and unloved sometimes.

[For some reason Blogger does not give me the "add a link" buttons in Safari (as it does for you windows users on IE)--I only get the spellcheck and add a picture buttons, and usually I take the time to type in the links, but screw it, if you are interested in these books, you probably know how to find them.]

Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen by Larry McMurtry
I love it that McMurty is really our only great novelist to simultaneously be an antiquarian book dealer. His personal reminisces on the book trade are interesting and, since I don't plan on being a great novelist, inspiring. I'd love to someday own a used book store. In fact, McMurtry compares herding books to herding cattle--neither are very profitable, but they sure beat a 9-5 desk job. It's just great to read a true bibliophile talk about books (this is one reason I like Nick Baker, too).

Metropolis by Elizabeth Gaffney
Just getting started on this, but I like it so far. It reminds me a lot of a combination of "The Crimson Petal and the White" and another book I recently read: "New York Sawed in Half".

We have a great Half Price Books store here in Austin (on Lamar Blvd at Koenig, I think) that has a pretty impressive rare books room and even takes out a chunk of antiquarian books that never sell and mark them down with the other used bargains. There I bought a 1965 copy of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine for like $2.00. The stories in it are pretty tight, concise, Arthur Conan Doyle-esque "mysteries" -- really enjoyable pulp.

I've also started cataloging all of my books at home in Excel and it's taking a while. I don't have them all on shelves yet so I doubt I will finish the catalog until I can get inspired enough by seeing their spines on the shelf. I have considered what would be the best way to "put" this catalog online and I think no one wants to see a long list of all my books sorted alphabetically by author and then I thought it might be cool if I could take some hi-res pictures of the books on the shelves and then you could basically look at my home library, but 1) I do not have a digital camera, 2) I do not have a scanner anymore, and 3) I'm still not sure it's worth the effort.

1 comment:

hillary said...

How does the Wilsey as a whole compare to the bit that was in The New Yorker?