On our way home from the bookstore Sunday, my son and I both noticed how our hands smelled like dusty old books. During the time we were there, we examined hundreds of volumes, all the while regretting our limited funds. But that torment, too, is part of the fun of book-buying — the painful knowledge that we must choose while leaving so many others behind.
That said, we did bring home some beauties — twenty-seven in all, ten of which will be mine, until such time arrives that my life or mind is gone, if the latter hasn’t happened already.
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I won’t bore you just now with a rundown of the titles. The two oldest books, the ones at the top of the stack, were published in 1869; the most recent, the one at the bottom, was published in 1919. Seven in all are from the nineteenth century. My son, meanwhile, retrieved two volumes of a three-volume set published in 1820, and another published in 1840. All three are sturdy and completely intact, having arrived like messengers from another world.
In the Forum: He comes with words sublimely dull, / In garb superbly silly, / To tell us of the Beautiful, / The sunflower and the lily.