Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Notes

We went down to the library book sale yesterday and today -- one day wasn't enough to make sure we had found every gem we wanted. I didn't find as much as I sometimes do, although I did walk out of there with a 1964 copy of Герой нашего времени with a couple of notes in it and a book in Russian about Karelia.

I think my favorite, though, was a copy of "Ex Libris," described as "A small Anthology, printed and bound (and sold) at the First National Book Fair sponsored by the NEW YORK TIMES and The National Association of Book Publishers. Compiled at their request by CHRISTOPHER MORLEY." It's dated November of 1936. It's a slim little book full of quotes about books, reading, and printing. Not, Mr. Morley says,
...famous golden texts and purple passages of the bibliophile's evangel. ...Most of the fragments here are contemporary, and it was the editor's pleasure to choose not only "literary" bits but also odds and ends of trade and technical palaver.

Fun for what it is, indeed. But I had to have it after I saw the handwritten notes on the front flyleaf. There are several lines in Japanese, then transliterated into Roman letters, and finally translated a little awkwardly, but I love it:
Lines sent to my eldest son Goitsu
Ever in common ways
Practise economy
But when you purchase books, in any case,
Use not your money sparingly.


  1. Anonymous2:47 PM

    Have you read Ex Libris by, erm, Someone Fadiman? I just blanked on her first name. Laura? Anyway, wonderful little book.

  2. I have! It too is good.

  3. I love that inscription. I want to get a tattoo of it.

  4. Anonymous7:44 AM

    Absolutely lovely!