Friday, March 11, 2011

a nice little surprise/virginia woolf touched my book


Libraries are truly one of life's quiet luxuries. As much as I complained about my local library taking back all my books, I always knew that WPL would do its best to get any book that I needed and it did get every book I asked for. It was all, of course, free and the staff there hardly complained when I kept some books after the due date. Those are tax dollars well spent.

Recently, I wanted to get Theodora Bosanquet's "Henry James at Work" because it seems to be unusual in actually describing a writer's process of writing-- like what typewriter he liked to dictate to, his drafting process etc-- which, in my limited experience, literary study is not very interested in as it doesn't see this information as particularly valuable. Possibly not valuable, but fascinating and fun? Yes.

I expected to get this version from the library and so was surprised to find that some librarian in Minneapolis had dug up this odd looking little book from the minitex stash:


I know it is mutilated, but do they know what this is?


According to the University of Delaware, it is "the only book from any of the Hogarth series to be handprinted by the Woolfs."


My first reaction: coooool.


My second reaction: wondering whether anyone at the Hennepin County Library would notice if it never came back...Bad! Bad! I know. I'll be returning it natch because I don't have the deadened conscious to enjoy a stolen book, and someone else may get this little surprise in the future, but still. This post will have to do.

(This should give you some idea of the cultural void I live in where even a tiny literary artifact can keep me excited for days.)

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