Saturday, February 1, 2020
A Month in the Life of MoiBibliomaniac, and the Books He Bought That Month
January 2020 was a busy month for MoiBibliomaniac. He was a guest on a TV show about books. He prepared and presented a PowerPoint Presentation on his Books About Books Collection before the Florida Bibliophile Society. He attended the Grand Opening of a bookstore in its new location. He organized a road trip for Florida Bibliophile Society members to visit a book and paper conservation lab in Venice, Florida. And as President of the Florida Bibliophile Society, he officially opened up a book collecting essay contest for students attending college in the Tampa Bay area. Moreover, he continued to promote a tour of the Tampa Bay area by members of other bibliophilic clubs in the United States. He was able to accomplish all that despite a serious health issue that developed around the middle of the month.
"MoiBibliomaniac" is the nom de plume he gave himself when he first started collecting books. It is also the title of a definition paper he wrote for a college English course he took while stationed at RAF Mildenhall in the late 1980s. "Oxy" is the nickname his wife Linda gave to the oxygen tank he's been lugging around with him for the last two weeks. I know quite a lot about MoiBibliomaniac. I should. If you haven't figured it out by now, "Moi" is me.
The Rare Book Cafe is the name of the TV show on which I appeared Saturday afternoon, January 25, 2020. That's me in the top right-hand corner.
I posted a notice to Twitter and Facebook prior to my appearance on the Rare Book Cafe. And Fine Books & Collections retweeted my Twitter post to its 6500 followers, 600 of which personally read my post.
My interview on the Rare Book Cafe didn't begin until 37 minutes and 19 seconds into the show. I talked about the Florida Bibliophile Society, our upcoming FABS Tour of the Tampa Bay area, the Fourth Annual Lee J. Harrer Student Book Collecting Essay Contest, my own book collecting history, and about how I became the President of the Florida Bibliophile Society. You can view and hear the entire show here.
I appear in two official photos of the Grand Opening of Lighthouse Books on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at its new location in Dade City. That's me in the red shirt in the top left-hand corner. And that's me holding one of the books I bought that day.
Here's me on January 11, 2020 at Mowery Book and Paper Conservation. I am giving Sonja Jordan-Mowery and her husband John Mowery a Florida Bibliophile Society book bag to share after they gave Florida Bibliophile Society members a tour of Mowery Book and Paper Conservation.
Here's a copy of the poster that Florida Bibliophile Society members distributed to the university libraries in the Tampa Bay area.
Here I am on January 19, 2020 at the Seminole Community Library giving my presentation on "Moi's Books About Books." I had to give my presentation sitting down because of my breathing problems. And I purposely left "Oxy" in the backseat of my car!
I gave a 45 minute presentation and displayed 100 slides on or about my Books About Books Collection (1365 books and counting). I began my presentation with the beginning and end of "Old Thoughts on Book Collecting for the New Year," an article in the January 2006 issue of the Newsletter of the Florida Bibliophile Society. The President of the Society in January 2006 had gone through his books about books over the Christmas holidays, and extracted old thoughts about book collecting he thought would be interesting to the other members of the Society. Yes. The President of the Florida Bibliophile Society in January 2006 was Moi.
The Book Gods were very good to me in January 2020. They helped me acquire four more books for my Books About Books Collection, two books for my Second Sentimental Airman Collection, and one book about writing.
Books in the House: an Essay on Private Libraries and Collections for Young and Old by Alfred W. Pollard, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1904.
Books in the House is the ninth book in my library by Alfred W. Pollard (1859-1944). I like the way he writes. And he knew way more than me about books. This book first caught my eye about a year ago when Mike Slicker's Lighthouse Books was still located in downtown St. Petersburg. But for some reason, it was not one of the books I purchased that day. I saw it again on Saturday, January 18th at the Grand Opening of Lighthouse Books in its new location in Dade City. I have learned from experience to never pass up a good book twice. So I bought it.
There are actually six essays in the book, each one full of book knowledge that never gets old.
Literary, Political, Scientific, Religious & Legal Publishings, Printing & Bookselling in England, 1551-1700: Twelve Studies by Leona Rostenberg, New York: Burt Franklin, 1965, two vols.
This is the seventh book by Leona Rostenberg (1908-2005) that I have in my library. After my presentation at the January 19, 2020 meeting of the Florida Bibliophile Society, we went to Doralynn Books in nearby Madeira Beach. Sean Donnelly conveniently placed some of his books about books on the front counter, and I grabbed these two volumes of book history for my Books About Books Collection.
Check List of Bibliographies, Catalogues, Reference-Lists, and Lists of Authorities of American Books and Subjects compiled by Paul Leicester Ford, Brooklyn: privately printed, 1889.
While researching for my Books About Books presentation, I discovered that I did not have a copy of Ford's Check List of Bibliographies ... and I quickly ordered a copy. I now have eight books written by Ford (1865-1902), one book formerly owned by him, and one book written by his brother Worthington Chauncey Ford.
Bibliographies are my passion. And I wanted to see the list of the early bibliographies Ford catalogued.
The Caxton Club 1895-1995: Celebrating a Century of the Book in Chicago by Frank J. Piehl, Chicago: Caxton Club, 1995.
I found this book on the front counter of Doralynn Books the same day I bought the book by Leona Rostenberg. I collect books about book clubs so this fit nicely in my Books About Books Collection.
But the real reason I wanted the book is because it was formerly owned by the Johnsonian Gwin J. Kolb (1919-2006). I now have three books he formerly owned, three books he wrote, and one book which was a disrespectful review of a book he co-authored with Robert DeMaria.
I didn't notice it until later that day, but my friend the late Paul Ruxin (1943-2016) was one of the signers when this book was presented to Gwin Kolb on December 8, 2000! I now have ten books and pamphlets by Paul Ruxin, about Paul Ruxin, or given to me as a gift by Paul Ruxin. Both Paul and I were Johnson/Boswell collectors. Paul, however, was a partner in a prestigious law firm while I was a mailman for the United States Postal Service. Inserted in my copy of Paul's book, Friday Lunch, is Paul's gift inscription:
Scott's Book: The Life and Mildenhall-Melbourne Flight of C. W. A. Scott Told by Himself by C. W. A. Scott, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1934.
I bought this book at the Grand Opening of Lighthouse Books in Dade City on January 18, 2020. I just had to have this book because I was stationed at RAF Mildenhall from 1985 to 1989. The book brings back memories of the base and of the good times I had, especially of roaming the countryside looking for books. The fact that the author and other pilots signed the book is icing on the cake.
Another reason I wanted the book is because it was formerly owned by the Aviation collector Derek Mason (1922-2012) who had a fabulous Aviation Collection. As I mentioned on the Rare Book Cafe, I am in some serious trouble. Most of the Derek Mason Aviation Collection that Lighthouse Books had was in storage due to lack of space. There's now lots of bookshelf space in the new location of Lighthouse Books!
EKCO E160 Series Airborne Search RADAR: Airborne Operating Instructions by EKCO Electronics LTD, Southend-on-Sea: EKCO Electronics, c.1958.
I found this book at Lighthouse Books as well. And it too was in the Derek Mason Aviation Collection. I now have ten books formerly owned by Derek Mason.
The primary reason I wanted this book is because this RADAR system looks similar to the APS-42 RADAR System installed on the military cargo planes I worked on in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Murder Your Darlings and Other Gentle Writing Advice From Aristotle to Zinsser by Roy Peter Clark, New York: Little, Brown, Spark, 2020.
Roy Peter Clark is the Senior Lecturer of the Poynter Institute. He is also one of the panelists for the FABS 2020 Tour Symposium at the Poynter Institute on Friday April 24, 2020. I now have three books by him. I particularly like him because he never fails to mention Strunk and White and The Elements of Style in his books. You might enjoy reading my review of his book, The Glamour of Grammar. I am looking forward to reading and reviewing Murder Your Darlings.
The Florida Bibliophile Society was very good to me as well. After my presentation of my Books About Books Collection, Charles Brown, the Vice President of the Society, presented me with a copy of The Annotations in Lady Bradshaigh's Copy of Clarissa. The book was signed by the Florida Bibliophile Society members who were present for the meeting.
Samuel Johnson said that Samuel Richardson's Clarissa "was the first book in the world for the knowledge it displays of the human heart." Lady Bradshaigh wrote corrections and what she considered improvements to the story in the margins of Clarissa.
January 2020 definitely was a busy month for me. And what with the current Lee J. Harrer Book Collecting Essay Contest and the upcoming 2020 FABS Florida Tour in April, the coming months will be pretty busy as well.
I would like to close this post with the 2006 article that I used to begin my Books About Books Presentation: "Old Thoughts on Book Collecting for the New Year."