Wednesday, September 28, 2011

why I hate poetry

I don't necessary hate poetry but my neighbor who calls himself a PERFORMANCE POET "borrowed" a book from me and then completely mucked it up during one of his performances somewhere and then GAVE the book to some clown in the audience. He offered to pay me for the book (maybe he noticed the glare I was giving him) and I told him that $5.00 would cover it. He bitched but gave me the money. It was a first edition of a paperback "tittalator" called "The Beat Generation" by Albert Zugsmith( Bantam, 1959).

Okay, Zugsmith wrote this book - the hell he did! Albert Zugsmith was a specialist in exploration films. He "bought" the rights to the name 'The Beat Generation' before Kerouac or anyone else thought to do it, maybe Ginsberg would have thought of it but he was out of the country when the Beat Generation thing exploded. Zugsmith made a movie called "The Beat Generation" which was pure exploitation crap. Nothing like the real Beat Generation nor any of their books, as far as I am concerned - and I have read a lot of the Beats over the years. No matter! It made Zugsmith a buck! What did he care about authenticity? So, he slapped his name on this title as the author but I am sure that it was a team of screenwriters who really came up with the dungheap.

But that's the not the point (of my disgust)! It's that this neighbor of mine ruined a book he borrowed from me! To be brutally honest, I have never liked modern poetry. I liked Walt Whitman because I know people to are verbose like that. Emily Dickinson? Not really. And why are there only two poets from the 1800s that we even learn about in school? The poetry from the 20th century I didn't like at all. Modern - Postmodern - LANGUAGE - (post)Postmodern, whatever the fuck they call it it's just babble to me. I like detective novels because they tell a story. Poetry in the 20th century hardly did anything but take up space on the page. I really really avoid it at all cost. I don't look for books by poets and don't attempt to sell poetry because it feels unclean to me. Ugh!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

this week, our box disappeared again

only thing is if there are snoops playing around all they got was a 1905 book on games that children can play and an empty egg carton. that will keep the agents guessing, if there are agents to be guessing which here in the DC area one can only guess are doing just that.

whatever -

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


for some reason our box of paper recyclables disappeared overnight LONG BEFORE recycling was picked up. Just our box – just ours. Should I be paranoid?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

through many rabbit holes

It fuzzy since I didn't write down such things at the time but I think it was this book and seeing the old B&W film version of it that got me interested in "crime/detective" novels. I read Cain and then others, somewhere in the middle of one book I was see a rabbit hole opening and then would plunge into that (subject, author, publisher, genre). 'One thing leads to another' as the song goes. I think it was around the time I have buzzing through the Sax Rohmer books that it occurred to me that there was this other writer from the late 19th - early 20th century who wrote at least one book in this vein: Joseph Conrad. The Secret Agent. Yeah, yeah, yeah - perfect title alone, you know? For some reason I am sure that a therapist could work out I latched onto that book. I mean, right now? Right now in storage unit A I have 26 copies of it. Altogether I think I have 68 copies of the book. I don't know why exactly. I see them and I get them. It's like I have said before, I don't believe in wasted trips. If I go to a place that has shit for books and I see a good copy of a book I know or like, I at least get that. Sure, 68 copies is a lot but I am - well, I believe they will come in handy someday. That's the hope. ___ will never understand why I "need" so many copies. But, she's promised never to read this blog so....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

next volunteering gig

I went to volunteer at the library and sought any Heritage Press books that had been left in the Friends room or the boxes outside in the hallway. I found 3 and then went about filling the shelves with books. The Friends are promoting Hardbound books, histories and biographies primarily, but all HB books so I was looking in the stacks of boxes for some HBs of various thicknesses to fit on the shelves. I did see some mysteries but nothing I don't already have - and as I was going through the boxes I spied a book I had seen before, one I had handled before, a copy of Don Quixote. I remembered seeing two of them in the box and I dug down to the bottom and sure enough the other one was there and - wait a minute, what's this? Illustrated by Salvador Dali? How did I miss that? I don't much like Dali personally but I can respect the value of his work and here's a copy of a book illustrated by him?

I quickly open the cover and what do I see? The nameplate! It's one of those!! I place it in a bag. A bag that fills and I pay for them with a couple of $2.00 bills (yeah, I still use them!)

Came home and researched the Dali illustrated book - $150.00 for a good copy and I have a good copy. I still can't believe that the family just dumped to books off at the library. It's not like the library staff knows the VALUE of everything. It's not their job. Nor the Friends, and it's not like I am going to enlighten them right now. Hell, everything I make gets "shoveled" onto student loan payments {have a said it a hundred times yet? i promised myself i would keep track - shit, have to - no, just keep going)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

deals and sub-deals

Unlike my daughter, who when left to her own devises finds the shittiest books around, I have side-deals and sub-deals going on as I try to find the right mix of books and genres to pay off handsomely. Okay, to do better than break even. At the end of last year I looked at my student loans and cringed at how little that number had moved over the year. I was determined to do more - this way, through moving books - to pay off my student loans. Yeah, a tall order but at least I have a goal now. I might beyond the taking care of the kids goals which I do all the time.

This is different. I have been running "games" for myself before but this is different. It's direct. I am going after one thing: the student loans. I could kick myself when I think about how much money I wasted on cigarettes and bar-hopping before I met __ . She forced me to change, we had kids right away and I wasn't about to smoke in front of them. So, I quit. That money saved didn't go to the student loans though. I wasn't focused enough yet. They went to jumping into the book trade as much/little as I have.

"games" - deals - subdeals. It's all the same thing to me. Mental distractions, if you will. I don't watch TV like I used to, got to hear the kids, so I "run the numbers" in my head a lot. The side projects add spice to the main meal of best sellers that move but are boring to handle. Yeah, even moving best sellers are boring. I loath packing them and taking them to place I KNOW will take them, and will sell them because people want to read them but not pay full price. It's not the money they don't want to spend, it's the boring story lines and lack of character development and.... listen to me.... no, it's boring because my runner could and should do it. I like the thrill of handling dangerous material, you know. The thrill of it all (Roxy Music)

I like finding and selling Beat Books {Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kerouac} but there aren't as many of them floating around as you might think. As much as I hope, anyway. I like to think of it like the adage about playing the stock market: buy low, sell high. I do jump in online when I see a bargain, like a lot of Beat books that I know I can split up and double my profit. But going into any used bookstore around here? It's a fucking crapshoot. I am as likely to see nothing close to Beats in the bottom of a crumbled cardboard box as to actually scoring a find. And now with my "new religion" about paying off my student loans, all I make from all my hustling goes to paying fucking interest on the loans. Hardly touch the principle. I just realized that both meanings there are true.

I have toyed with dealing with porns in the past. Those clients have vanished. I guess I could find others. I am finding some in the wasteland that I tour. Enough to put together a LOT of them. But posting them on, like, Ebay is an invitation for some moral prunes to FWD me to the authorities. Like I am a child raper or something. I sell books, that's all. I separate one aspect of my life from others to protect my kids, you know, honestly - I am sure that there are some completely sick/fucks out there who deal in more than porn BOOKS but I pray they don't also have kids. I know the line I am walking. It's a little dangerous - maybe - but it does get me closer to paying off my student loans and that's all that counts.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

dealing with porn

I have two kids under the age of 4, they are suggestible and observant. If they see me get a book that has sexual content on the cover, this is reported to the Mother authority. If I choose to deal with porn, I have to make separate trip and develop a certain clientele that would be both discreet and deep pocketed. Fantasies, I know but one can hope.

My daughter left to her own devises would pick the crappiest book covers imaginable. In fact, she already has and when I catch the offending book before the clerk can ring it up, my daughter would blurt "but, Daddy, It's beautiful! It's purple" (which might be true but doesn't lead to the first point at all) PLUS she picks romance novels. She should be crawling through the kids section instead of picking purple covered romance novels! I can't even blame it on my wife because she doesn't read romance novels and it too consumed with her work-related readings to contemplate "trashy pulps" as she has called them in the past. Our daughter, on the other hand, goes straight for the worst looking cover and offers it to me as "my one". I have to decline saying, "no, go find a real kid's book".

Friday, September 9, 2011

i am wondering...

i am wondering if it makes it more weird for someone to look at the face of the person whose nameplates one is researching, if seeing the face of the first owner affects the decisions I will be making about how to dispose of his books. I have a degree of separation that his grown children didn't have, but still - it's weird and awkward. I wanted to see if the person had died and he did. And there's a photo of the man and I looked at it. It's not like selling Scrooge's bed linens, if it? I don't think so. I hope not.

Were the books in his library listed in his will? I am asking that but draw the line there. I don't want to be voyeuristic about it. I have some of his books, not his body, not his soul.

ob - book diary 1

.... previous entries not listed.

OB is the name I have chosen for this diary/journal which will be used to collect my thoughts on my Book (thing/fetish/whatever)
I am sure I will do some editing as I go along. I have been actively involved with "the book trade" as a scout/seller for a decade now. My primary function is as a Stay-at-Home Dad for our two kids. Girl - 3, Boy - 18 months. I go to many places in search of books, of course, and for as little as possible while maintaining a level of quality. I have handled enough underlined or tanned paperbacks to build a bridge out of.

This entry is about a number of books that I have recently found at the local library where I volunteer. Of course my motives are not purely civic: they get great donated books in there all the time! In fact, very recently a number of books published by Heritage Press have appeared with nameplates. The one at the top of the entry. My wife, who works for an office in the Federal Government I am not at liberty to mention, and I have speculated that the reason these lovely books have appeared now is that the owner had died. I have been able to confirm the owner's passing. It's a shame that the books have past from the family but perhaps the children didn't value the books. Perhaps they couldn't settle on how to divide them up. I don't know.

I feel badly for the collection. Left at the bottom of the donation bin in the back of the library. I bought a few books to upgrade the titles I had. Swapping collectibles for paperbacks is a no brainer if it's books that I am planning to keep. I have some others, and I will go back and get the rest and put them up as a lot. It makes sense to try and keep them together. Even if only to be sold to some anonymous buyer out in the world. They stand a better chance of staying together. I like to help orphans. It's one of my missions. Saving all books I can. (or that my wife will allow - glad she doesn't know about the storage units)