This is my first daylog, mainly because this is the first time I actually have something to say.
I am a bibliomaniac. This had been creeping up on me for a while, during high school and the first few years of college. I collected a lot of books during those years, mainly classical studies, art, and the culture surrounding technology. I bought remainders, went to library booksales, looked at the extremely discounted shelves at Half Price Books, and amassed a large quantity of books without spending too great of an amount of money on it. After four years of collecting books, I had, perhaps 1200 volumes.
Things started to change near the end of last school year. I had collected a lot of cheap classical studies books printed during the mid to late 19th c., and I realized that I did not have the space for them. More importantly, I realized how much they were selling for on ebay. So I started selling volumes for my collection, just to have some pocket money. It worked out relatively well. I spent the summer near Yellowstone National Park, away from Cleveland and my sources for cheap books.
I returned from Wyoming with $100 less than I had had when I started the summer. So I needed to make money somehow, and selling books seemed to be a pretty good idea. After a few weeks, I was making a couple hundred dollars a week selling books on ebay, on books that cost me perhaps $100. Then Friday happened.
I drove into Cleveland to help my father with some things at his art gallery. On the way, I stopped at The Two Dollar Rare Book Store. There were a lot of nice new books in that store, and I knew that I had quite a bit of money coming in soon, so I could buy a few more books than I normally do. There were a lot of nice books there, so seductively placed, some in normal bookcases, some in Barristers. So I bought a lot. Far too much. Far more than I have ever spent on books. I spent more on a single volume than I have ever spent on books at one time. I spent... about a fifteenth of my annual income on books.
It felt good, but a bit worrisome, too. What if no one is willing to buy any of the books? What if I just cannot find people willing to buy books anymore? What worries me more is that there is nothing stopping me now. Before, reason kept me from buying a book that cost more than $100, and even when I did that, it required a lot of though and planning. Now that I have spent $400 on a single volume, what is to stop me from spending much much more? If I just sold my van, I could probably get that early 15th c. manuscript Bible.
I am happy, just puzzled and confused. I have acquired many wonderful books, books which will provide hours of enjoyment...the first edition of Archimedes' Works published in a modern language, in Paris, 1807, Virgil's Aeneid, with commentary, 1695, a couple other late 17th c. books, a bunch of mid 19th c. gorgeous leather bound books of poetry, and an 1741 Virgil printed by Joseph Manni.
All these books are gorgeous. And as a result, I will spend more money on books in the future. I am not afraid. But I know that there is no going back. I will spend $500 on a book. I will spend $1000 on a book. And I will probably spend $2000, $3000, and more, for single volumes. And I will love every minute of it.