john cowper powys // bookride [writing // books // BABL]

what a history of human excesses a second-hand book-shop is! as you 'browse' there– personally i can't abide that word, for to my mind book-lovers are more like hawks and vultures than sheep, but of course if its use encourages poor devils to glance through books that they have no hope of buying, long may the word remain!–you seem to grow aware what a miracle it was when second-hand book-shops were first invented. women prefer libraries, free or otherwise, but it too often happens that the books an ordinary man wants are on the 'forbidden shelves'. but there is no censorship in a second-hand book-shop. every good bookseller is a multiple-personality, containing all the extremes of human feeling. he is an ascetic hermit, he is an erotic immoralist, he is a papist, he is a quaker, he is a communist, he is an anarchist, he is a savage iconoclast, he is a passionate worshipper of idols. though books, as milton says, may be the embalming of mighty spirits, they are also the resurrection of rebellious, reactionary, fantastical and wicked spirits! in books dwell all the demons and all the angels of the human mind. [continue // part 2]

bookride is a blog dedicated to the noble pursuit of book collecting and all of the peculiar quirks thereof. not only do they offer thoughts and statistics on used and rare books, but they also often post various verbiage on books and book buying as a culture. the excerpt above is appropriated from an essay by "that gigantic mythopoeic literary volcano" john cowper powys.

No comments: