Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

A Common Reader:  I presume that you do not have enough books around the house. It is to laugh. My house is loaded with books, more than I can ever read before I die. I am trying to work on ‘attachment,’ the Buddhist principle of owning and wanting more. Or not owning and not wanting more, as the case may be. The Common Reader is not helping. What is the Common Reader, you ask? It’s a book catalog, but unlike any ordinary book catalog you’ve ever received in the mail. It’s generally about 136 pages long and filled with all sorts of books, from the classics, to travelogues, to works of philosophies, novels, mysteries and many other categories. What is so enticing about this catalog is the descriptions of the books listed. Often I sit down in my easy chair and spend most of an evening reading about every book. It's like having an intelligent conversation with the owner or whoever puts the list together. The list on the notepad at my side grows longer and longer. I know I can neither afford all of those books nor if I acquired them could I read all of them. Aha, I say. We have a very good library system in the county where I reside. Their catalog is available on-line. I go there and check my Common Reader list against their holdings. The hits are always well over 90%. This is eminently unfair to the Common Reader company, I know. I try to order something from the catalog a couple of times a year so salve my conscience and to keep the catalog coming. So far it’s worked. Through this catalog I’ve discovered some very interesting books which I might never have read. And the list grows longer. The last time I added to it the number of books hovered around 150. The last book I read from the list was Kelly James’ Dancing with the Witchdoctor. But I’ll leave that for another blog. If you’re interested the address is The Common Reader, 141 Tompkins Avenue, Pleasantville, NY 10570-3154. Good reading, or should I say, good browsing.


Blogger adamosf said...

I received Common Reader for many years, and I also lusted over many of the books in it, usually buying several of them each year. Somehow though, I must have lapsed for awhile, because they stopped sending it to me, which is probably a good thing since, like you, I cannot resist buying books. And I desperately want to read every book in my collection before I pass away someday.

Of course, I still get catalogs from Daedalus Books, Edward Hamilton, and others, which are equally dangerous.

4:43 PM  

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