The vast majority of the books I read are used.
I am not one of the idle rich. The illuminati, the glitterati or any of the privileged class that can afford brand new hard cover books.
That's crazy, right? Who is loose enough to go out and buy brand new books? Seems like an unattainable dream. I mean you have to be a member of the landed gentry to be that extravagant.
So I accumulate mountains of gently used books.
The upside to this economic reality is that I occasionally come across hand written notes and dedications in the books I acquire.
"Merry Christmas, Uncle Don. May 1987 be happier than 1986 was."
"Thank you for all you help, love and support. Marie."
"Happy Birthday, Dad. Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. Feel better. Love, Bob."
I am paraphrasing but those are three that I vaguely remember. I have come across many dedications like that, written into the inside front cover of the book.
I love it when that happens. It makes me stop and realize that somebody gave this book as a gift to make someone else feel better. It connects me in a tenuous way to someone else's life.
It creates an awareness of others' suffering, their happiness, their love.
Nobody gives books as gifts anymore. That is a shame.
I think that is one of the most intimate gifts you can give to a reader.
Of course, people are afraid. "I'm not sure what the hell he reads; hell he may even have the goddamn book already."
Hence - gift cards.
I get it. Still, speaking as a reader, I can think of no more meaningful gift. Especially when it is inscribed with a personal note.
But I digress. Just finished reading "The Autobiography Of A Brown Buffalo" by Oscar Zeta Acosta.
You don't know who that is. I am willing to bet my house on it. But that's OK. He is part of my inner circle.
If you do know who he is (was) we should be friends. We are simpatico. I cannot find enough (any?) people in NH who share my interests. Not even close. Hence, my boredom.
I was turned on to him by Hunter S. Thompson. Also a member of the inner circle.
This is what I love about having a focused interest in a specific lifestyle or type of entertainment or point of view. One thing leads to another.
You find a writer that you love, he inadvertently turns you on to a musician that you end up loving, other writers you end up loving, actors and intellectuals you end up loving.
All with a similar approach to life.
Anyway, I am plowing through the book and I come across a piece of paper. State of NH House of Representatives stationary with the name, David Cote, and title, Assistant Minority Whip.
Under the heading "Tasks" he wrote: ID stone and location, map, photographs, vital record research, obituary research, historical research, municipal history.
Under "Questions" he wrote: How many plots, date range, monitor archives dates.
Under "Budget" he wrote: Mac Book, Publishing & printing, advertising costs.
Who the hell would not be interested in a note like that? Researching gravestones. Groovy, baby.
I love it.
Aw shucks, I guess buying used books ain't all that bad.
P.S. - Did some research. David Cote is currently seeking his 18th term for the 2017-2018 session of the NH House of Representatives. He is a democrat, of course.
No fucking republican would be interested in the life of Oscar Zeta Acosta.
P.S.S. - Just for fun I e-mailed the man about our common interest. I'll let you know if anything comes of it.