In a recent turn of events, well, I use the term recent loosely here, but I have come to understand that I have a terribly ironic disposition. I am, I regret to inform you all, allergic to book dust. I wait here for the laughter to die down. During this project I was put into places, on hands and knees, scouring the floors of silent seas like a pair of ragged claws the annuls of used bookstores across the midwest. I would leave some of these place depending on how long I was there, if I had to go in any basements which was more frequent that you would think, and if the books were being stored in damp or unventilated spaces. This was of course the normal for old crusty bookstores everywhere that would house the strange and long forgotten award-winning books Drew and I were feverishly searching for. A point about this trip that we have left a little underaddressed by both of us. I mean come on people, for a given year, these books one the highest award an American Novel can achieve, The stinkin’ Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and I have to search for 12 whole months to find all of them, I mean come on people. Anyways, so during this search probably, because I am terribly unaware of my health, I noticed that I got itchy eyes and throat closing symptoms after these long excursions into the used bookstore underbelly, and after some time removed from these locales I would be fine. The point that really hit home was when I was reading Louis Bromfield’s Early Autumn which I found in a salvation army in Kankakee, IL coincidently where I live know but for me at the time it was a little bit of an adventure as this location is not in the terribly best area of Kankakee county and I was rummaging through books that had probably not moved in years. It was after this amazing encounter, buying this book for $.10 that Drew and I began to see this book everywhere, but nevertheless, it was quite a find. So a few weeks later, I began to read this volume, and low and behold after only an hour or two of reading it did I discover that this book was in fact trying to kill me. I pressed on eyes blazing, throat closing, nose running like a faucet that I gave in and took some anti-allergy medicine. And I finally realized that I was ironically painfully allergic to book dust.
This only comes to ahead today, and I felt like making mention of it here that remarkably enough only a handful of the books I have purchased this past year seem to have given me fits while reading, and today in order to interrupt these volumes negative effects on my health and well-being did I decide to order online reading copies of certain books. This I tell you was the least gratifying thing I have ever done, and part of this post is a simple confession. After an entire year of searching high and low, and I mean terribly low for these books did I simply go to my used bookstore providing website of choice and buy three of these books. Simply, I felt ashamed. I will receive these books in the mail, and I will hide them. I will read them quickly and silently and I will put them away for fear of being found out that I have two copies of these books and one was procured in less than honorable way. (Books afore mentioned purchased today were Herman Wouk, Katherine Anne Porter, and Paul Harding)