How to resist buying a rare book for a reasonable price?
In the years I almost lived in thrift shops,
it happened all the time.

I remember having bought a book called 'Radium'.
It was a scientific illustrated treatise from the 1930's.
The subject must have been highly specialized back then
and it still is.  Moreover the title, RADIUM, was printed
in big fat letters, characteristic for the period, on the bleak
vaguely yellow cover.  That and the price of a newspaper
it was sold for, was enough to buy it on the spot,
knowing that I would never read it.  For me it was an object
that by its appearance was extremely eloquent about an epoch.

Another day, and to remain in line with the preceding,
I found the very first American instant pocket
'The Atomic Age Opens', printed a fortnight or so
after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In this one I read some lines but this book too
is important to me as a true representative of a specific moment in time.
It is an object, similar to Radium, and I cherish it as well.

It gets more serious when I stumbled upon the library
of an unknown Egyptologist with a dozen or more volumes
on fascinating subjects like the pharaoh Ikhnaton,
king Salomon, hieroglyphs and the art of Ancient Egypt.
Those books equally imposed their acquisition
without much hope for all of them to be read.
Needless to say what happened when one day
I saw the library of a deceased occultist on the sidewalk,
ready to be taken by the garbage men.
What to do in a situation like this? 
But did I read them?

My library is an orphanage for books.
moreandless moreandless
56-60, M
1 Response Nov 15, 2010

Thank you, Ayne.<br />
Moving from one place to another is the right way to thin the shelves indeed. After I did last time, my books were dispersed over three locations and a part of my library is still there. A new wife didn't change a lot in my case. My addiction tempered because I had to rebuild and expand the house to accomodate the orphans. Even after that the problem remained because people started to give or send me books without asking.