I’M ON A TREASURE HUNT. I’m tired of hearing people say there are “no good books left.” Yes, the market is inundated right now, but I’m on a mission to find the best literary fiction out there provided by the “little guys.” I’m digging through the muck to find rare gems: meaningful and culturally significant literature that engages and says something more than vampire love.

Today the book market is dominated by Amazon and big publishing houses, so I want to give a nod to the small presses who are fighting the good fight. ALL the books I read here have been published by small presses and (whenever possible) purchased from local bookstores.

You won’t find negative reviews here. The market is too vast to waste anyone’s time with bad reviews. Rather, you will find that I am selective about the books I read, and if I don’t like something, I won’t review it. In other words, I won’t give you the dirt, only the plunder.

I will be posting quarterly book recommendations for writers, avid readers, and anyone who thinks good literature is dead. I will also have "Throwback Thursdays" to show some of my old book collection to promote the preservation of classic stories and the art of beautiful bookbinding.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

#tbt Oldie Books

I recently came into possession of a 12-part Wordsworth collection. It was printed over a century ago…and this particular collection has never been read. How do I know this? Because the pages have never been cut.

It's fun, doing things the "old way" as I read a long epic poem titled "The Excursion." I have to cut open each page like a present as I move through the book. I wish I'd come across Part I of this poem, "The Wanderer," in high school because it encapsulates how I felt as a teenager - and how I still feel at times - yearning to wander freely in the mountains. (A romanticized notion, I realize! Wordsworth's appreciation of nature has always captured me).

These books were printed in 1911 and are bound with fabric. I think the reason they survived for so long is because whoever owned them kept them in a personal library with some measure of climate control. I'm picturing the previous owners as socialites who preferred to show off their books rather than read them - but of course, my imagination could be way off! But there has to be some reason why the books have zero damage from humidity, and no wear and tear. And best of all, they have never been opened in a hundred years. A part of me wonders if I should keep them unopened to maintain the value of the books - but what is the point of keeping them if I don't read them? Books are meant to be opened!