Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Is That Even Possible ?

I just devoured this book! Allison Hoover Bartlett's, true life tale of book thief (John Charles Gilkey) & the bibliodick ( Ken Sanders), who helped to bring him down. As a self confessed bibliophile I found this book both fascinating & intriguing. I also found it personally enlightening & thought provoking about why we collect what we do & for what purpose. Allison looks into the field of rare book collecting through virgin eyes and is transfixed by the world she finds. Ive been a collector since I was about 7 years old. It started with baseball cards and comic books. The baseball cards ( some 500,000 plus ) I still have & the comics went the way of the burn barrel via my Mother. My mother is a saint & in fact it's the only thing I have on her & I still like to remind her from time to time. During my teens I started collecting autographs & sports memorabilia. Later, I began to amass a collection of coffee cups, Pyrex dishes, magazines, documents on S.Ill. history and original historic newspapers. I still have all the aforementioned, but in later years I moved on to 3 specific areas: roughly 7,000 books ( signed & 1st edition ), 5,000+ original movie posters & 6,000 movies (VCR,DVD,Laser Discs). My passion for book collecting really amped up after reading John Dunning's, "Booked to Die". I've spent many a day on an exciting quest by myself, with my wife & mother, and with my friend Tyler Renshaw looking for the next prize to add to the collection. At times its exhilarating, at others its frustrating as theirs only so much time & money available. When you have a limited amount of both, you have to work harder & wiser than the next guy,( without stealing ) so...that's my point. It can be done without resorting to the ways Gilkey does in this book. However, I will say I definitely understand his passion for obtaining. Is it a sickness, or addiction...probably. Like Gilkey says "Every collector seems a little obsessed, a little mad". Advise for future collectors or those already bitten by the bug, remember one thing, "We do not own our collections, our collections own us".....Happy Hunting !

ROBERT B. PARKER 1932-2010

I was saddened to see this morning that Robert B. Parker, had passed away of an apparent heart attack. Mr. Parker,77, was one of the true giants in the field of mystery writing. Robert B. Parker published 65 novels to date, and had published 37 Spencer novels, of which he was most known for. Spencer was an ex-boxer, turned Boston P.I., and was the basis for the 1985 TV Series "SPENCER FOR HIRE" featuring Robert Urich. He also had another popular mystery series with Jesse Stone. It was also a basis for films starring Tom Selleck. The 9th Jesse Stone novel,"SPLIT IMAGE" will be out on Feb 23rd. Mr. Parker was on my list of authors that I most wanted to meet and I had always admired his late start ( 1st book published at age 42 ) into the world of literature. He will be sorely missed.