Friday, May 18, 2012

Book Collecting and Sleuthing

Being a book collector and being a detective are surely one in the same thing - only one deals with perhaps more blood than the other although I have heard tell that book collectors can be a ruthless bunch.

I was summoned to the library today to pick up two books on hold for me: V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton and The Amenities of Book Collecting and Kindred Affections by my now good friend A. Edward Newton.

The copyright date of V is 2011, the copyright date of Amenities is 1918. Quite a spread.

I have had Grafton's book on hold for months. I am not even sure how long ago I reserved it, but if I were to add my name to the list today I would be 62nd on the list. The library has 75 copies of the book.

Not so amazing as Sue Grafton is a local author with a home here and a home in Santa Barbara.

Anyway, I plan on spending the weekend reading Kinsey Millhone's latest adventures and am glad to get the book before her creator comes out with her next in line: W is for ???

As to Mr. Newton, I am delighted that the library has not discarded this quite ancient volume. The spine has the notation 090 N561 written very carefully in white ink as they used to do. The spine was then shellacked or had some sort of hard, clear coating painted on so that the title and call numbers are forever preserved.

The book is fragile. It has many photos, illustrations, and samples of autographs and handwritings. The photographs all have the library name stamped across a corner. I guess to prevent tearing out and framing?

Anyway, I am happy to have both of these books by my reading chair.

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