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Monday, November 7, 2005

Chapter Fifty-Seven, in which the Book Catalogue Fairy visits

Ella L. recently shared her excitement over a book catalogue, and I went ahead and ordered the same. Today your Bibliothecary was also visited by the Book Catalogue Fairy: two catalogues and a magazine in the post box. Let's find out what's inside.

"A Common Reader" is as Ella advertised, exclamatory! There is offered Bibliotopia which has garnered the SMB endorsement. The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer is "highly recommended" as an "absorbing guide to both the concept and the content of classical education," something which has been all but forgotten in the curriculum of today. Paul Woodruff writes about rediscovering the virtue of Reverence. And from Magic Beach by Crockett Johnson, our favorite of those special descriptions that so appeal to Ella:
In the chambers of the literary imagination, no truth is more telling than the revelation that every word is an act of faith, and every tale a suspension of disbelief. Stories will worlds into being, and in the words that make them we discover the dimensions of our hearts and minds.

The second catalogue we received was that of Edward R. Hamilton, the venerable mail-order bookseller. Here the prices are a bit more reasonable, and the best feature is the flat shipping rate, regardless of how many books one orders. A quick glance through the pages, and we have already marked to buy Frontier Skills: The Tactics and Weapons That Won the American West by William C. Davis; The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution by Linda R. Monk; and The Write Stuff: Collector's Guide to Inkwells, Fountain Pens, and Desk Accessories by Ray and Bevy Jaegers. Other notably alluring books are on Steichen, Vermeer, and science fiction art. And if we are ultimately unable to acquire all these titles, we still read of them and imagine our personal collection enriched by their inclusion.

Finally, the new issue of Fine Books and Collections magazine arrived, full of articles to stir the passions of any book collector. Perhaps in another chapter your Bibliothecary will comment further on some of the contents if we can ever escape the enchantment of the advertisement on the inside front cover for The History of the Library in Western Civilization by Konstantinos Sp. Staikos.

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