There’s a title you don’t want to read too fast, right? All judgement aside, I’m only interested in great reads with most alluring story lines. That’s all. Attraction in its most novel form … to be clear. Three then five letters in one, not five then three. Math I didn’t see until after typing in that most (un)fortunate one word in a three word title. However, I love words, so it stays.
I love words – so much so I barely read them in books. Scanning over fictional characters’ smoochy love hugs in a dime-store, crack-back beach book isn’t my sunny day pleasure by a long shot. Draping a smoking jacket over my lazy shoulders – while sitting beside a slobbering basset hound – reading Baskerville is less suited to me than another Doyle named Brunson calling my all-in Aces at a World Series of Poker event. See, reading as a pastime, hobby, or school assignment has never, ever been a great love of mine.
I know those who do – voraciously. They eat up books faster than I shove pizza slices in my 4-times a week gapper. Eating, words, and music are more my three-ring circus. These friends and relatives exchange books in little gift bags, store plastics, and porch boxes. Back and forth go biographies, romances, comedies, tragedies, flimsy flops, and hard histories. I see them quickly buzz by, freely bartered among them-that-thespianate over such strung pages of textual bliss. I’ve Tristan and Iseult-ed once in my life. That was enough. Honestly, I don’t know how I managed high school and college, but I did … somehow.
Words – in five minute drops – are perfectly fine for me. More than that, shut the door. Which makes the 90-minute view last night quite remarkable for me. Well, not really that stunning since I wasn’t really reading.
In between the warm covers of my evening, I caught a short documentary about folks who collect antique books. Book “people”. Living, breathing kin folk who spend their lives amassing valuable, old … books. The first fifteen minutes had me at a $130,000 Don Quixote.
Hosted by the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, the event featured in the documentary returned to the Park Avenue Armory in 2020.
Books, books, … more old, young, and enthusiastic heart-pumping humans talking authors and editions than I’ve ever seen. White gloves in abundance with cheeky monacles inspecting ink blots dried decades before Ben Franklin was a glimmer in his mother’s eye. Everywhere the camera scanned, bookcases full with volumes of knowledge none in attendance could possibly have enough time or money to absorb. It didn’t matter to those waiting in line to go in, or to most lined up in the lobby. Readers all. Collectors of words in their heads and hearts.
Not just there, but in homes as well. Gentlemen and ladies with warehouses stacked to the ceiling with pages of stories – not only just tales from the masters, mind you, but also heroic sagas of that one, possibly multiple year-long journeys of gotta-haves that engrossed their every novel fascinations. Oversized gots with fold-outs of fish and little, century-old diaries including real mammoth hair … yep, mammoth hair. We were pretty far away from Alcott’s little darlings at this point in the story, but I’m sure Dickens would’ve approved of the twist this evening’s turn took at that moment.
During the whole time, I didn’t see many words. Just dusty old covers and lots of fancy price tags adorned the screen. $100,000 for this, $74,900 for that … oh, but the pamphlets and info were probably free. Not sure how much it was to get into the show, however, because that information wasn’t given out and, of course, I wasn’t in attendance. Didn’t even know the damn show was going on last March. How would I have known, anyway?
See, I wouldn’t be on their mailing list – as a donor, reader, or exhibitor. I’m basically broke, don’t read, and, save a few 1970’s MAD magazines in the attic, I don’t have any old paper around of any value. The closest I can come to the Antiquarian club is saying I saw Shamu once at the Aquarium at Sea World. Those two words are close, right?
… kinda like the two words Shamu’d together in the title. Ok, I’ll say it. This post today is multiple whore-ads for words. Who-reads, anyway? I don’t, in effect, for effect. Don’t have time for it. Still not judging anyone here. You’re obviously a reader of high quality or you wouldn’t have lasted this long today, or longer, with me on DougHugs.
Dickens, Doyle, Alcott, and never the Twain shall meet … me, probably. I’m way beyond school, thankfully, and only read books with lots of pictures and/or blogs I can write – hopefully lasting less than five minutes.
If you need a book to read, I have friends. Just let me know.