Life, or Look?

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by LostInTyme, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    Because I’ve subscribed to trade journals I often find slickly produced catalogs for high-end interior furnishings in my mailbox. I won’t be buying a thing featured in any of those catalogs, but the pictures are pretty.
     
  2. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Those are the kinds of books stagers will always covet, I’d bet.

    The majority of mine are paperbacks and trade paperbacks. Some, a bookseller friend tells me, are now worth considerably more than I paid for them, lo those many years ago. And some ain’t worth diddly.

    My art books, scores of them, are on the old Hartmann trunk that now serves as a coffee table, in stacks on other pieces of furniture, and on the bookshelf in what had been our short-term rental unit in the basement. I’ve found that many art books that sold for high prices when new can be had used for pennies on the dollar. An online outfit called Thriftbooks has supplied many of mine.
     
  3. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

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    I believe there is a fake background that you can choose for your virtual meetings that is a wall of intellectual looking books. I also notice that many talking heads on tv choose to sit in front of what are, likely, staged bookshelves. Just one more thing about which I can throw mocking/snide comments at the tv screen! :rolleyes:
     
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  4. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    Oh yeah! The bookshelf backdrop is pretty much de rigueur these days. The most amusing are the ones with the talking heads’ own books prominently displayed with the covers facing out.
     
  5. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    At last count I've got about 1200 books in a 950-square foot house, organized according to no particular system except that I have a rough idea what shelf any given book is usually on unless it's in the pile next to my bed or the pile next to the toilet. Most are non-fiction dealing with various aspects of pre-1950 popular culture and history, although I do have an entire shelf devoted to early Ellery Queen novels, and two and a half shelves devoted to rare 1930s agitprop. A few odd paperback novels that followed me home from the swap shop at the dump are tucked here and there as well.

    In addition to the shelved books, there's about a dozen boxes/plastic tubs full of low-demand books in the attic. These are ones I'm not likely to consult anytime soon, but in case I do need them I know where they are. Sort of.

    Most of the magazines and newspapers are stored in a closet in my home office, with the overflow taking up three of the six drawers in my bedroom dresser. Among the materials thus stored is a four-foot-tall stack of 1920s and 30s tabloid newspapers, mostly the New York Daily News and Daily Mirror and the Boston Daily Record -- the latter two titles not known to be digitized anywhere -- and hundreds of copies of "Radio Guide."

    I also have several bound volumes of the Daily News, the Daily Record, and the New York Herald-Tribune under my bed. Actually, they're there to keep the box spring from landing on the floor, and possibly on my cat, if the bedframe collapses in the night.
     
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  6. LostInTyme

    LostInTyme One of the Regulars

    Lizzie, you are indeed, a curious person. I remain at odds with myself as to your age. You seem young at heart, but your interests seem to fall to times too far distant for you to have experienced first hand.

    My Dad used to read Ellery Queen. I remember the covers of the paperbacks. They seemed pretty sexy for the times, and, for a 10 year old, eye candy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
  7. ChiTownScion

    ChiTownScion Call Me a Cab

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    I got rid of about 2/3 of the 1,000+ books in my old library when we moved across the country two years ago. The books tossed were mainly old textbooks and casebooks from my student days: long since replaced by newer editions. And as far as the law books: I'm essentially retired from active practice but if I need to research a point I do it online and, if necessary, hit a local law library.

    My railroad and other history books, as well as some fictional and animation works, are off limits to any would- be "house cleaning" efforts. A much smaller library these days, but I really have all the books that I need.
     
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  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I earn money writing about 1930s popular culture, and am, according to the kids I work with, somewhere between 17 and 108. Sometimes both at the same time.
     
  9. LostInTyme

    LostInTyme One of the Regulars

    That is precisely where my estimate landed. I have managed to reach 3/4 of a century, with much difficulty at times. The road ahead is certainly shorter than the one I have travelled thus far, but I expect it to be smoother than what I have come to know.
     
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  10. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    My mother's basement
    I keep plastic tubs filled with the print publications in which my byline appears, or to which I contributed content anonymously. Those tubs are in the garage, along with like containers holding Christmas ornaments and other collections of miscellany that holds enough sentimental value to me that I can’t yet bring myself to part with it.

    I let my decades-long subscription to The New Yorker lapse a couple years ago (it has, to my eye, become a bit too much the advocacy journal, while the overall quality of the writing isn’t what it used to be). During a move in 1999, from a little house I had lived in for nearly 20 years, I tossed out stacks of NYer back issues that had taken over most of a bedroom closet. I now kinda wish I hadn’t. I bet they’d fetch a few bucks.
     
  11. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I did the same thing with my National Geographic subscription when it fell under control of the Rupert Murdoch interests. Poor old Gilbert Grosvenor must have oscillated wildly in his crypt. I still take the Atlantic Monthly, if only to hate-read Christina Hoff Summers.

    I covet "New Yorkers" of the Harold Ross era for their presentation of the city as a quirky small town full of odd people doing interesting things. I always read the current issues in the dentist's office, but they somehow lack that sensibility.
     
  12. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    The New Yorker still has real talent in its stable (Jane Mayer and Masha Gessen, notably). But it still ain’t what it used to be.

    I take the Atlantic as well. (George Packer bolted the NYer for the Atlantic because, as he put it, Remnick and company weren’t much interested in the stories he wanted to do.) By the time it arrives in my mailbox I have already read much of it online. Modern times.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021
  13. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,406
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Sounds like Chateau Liz is a veritable cabinet of curiosities. Doubtful it would ever be confused for anywhere else.

    That’s true of our once-generic suburban rambler, especially on stepping inside.

    The things we surround ourselves with matters. Does to me, anyways.
     
  14. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    When I croak, the kids will throw the kind of yard sale I used to enjoy attending.
     
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  15. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    I find Christina Hoff Summers and Camille Paglia of more similar perspective than might be supposed.
    Only read The New Yorker at the VA while waiting for an appointment, ditto Atlantic, which doesn't impress
    much frankly, xcept Christina or any Paglian doggerel.
    I know you kept Prosser. I love his Torts.
    I recall visiting Bookies once looking for a replacement Prosser when a fellow patron who was trying
    to trade some old law texts was peremptorily told by its proprietor that he never accepted law
    casebooks, texts, law reviews, or hornbooks "because nobody ever buys them." I took the lot.

    Understand the Biden SCOTUS Review board has issued its report. Have to read this sometime
    tomorrow or Sunday. I brought Feingold's CRT Chicago Law Review in from the office tonite,
    trying to get current with legal academe. A Quixotic quest but one I cannot abandon.;)
     
  16. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,406
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Gotta like Susan Page's bookshelf backdrop. Her shelves are like mine -- as many books as can fit shelved vertically, and on top of them others laid horizontally. And many of them paperbacks.

    EDIT: And same for Bill Kristol.
     
  17. ChiTownScion

    ChiTownScion Call Me a Cab

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    Location:
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    Prosser's Torts, Corbin's Contracts, and two editions of Black's. Toss 'em in my casket when I go.
     
  18. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    My mother's basement
    You know how some people regret not finishing that degree or dumping that nice boy she had been seeing for the muscled-up bad boy with the sports car?

    Among my regrets is not snapping up the stuff that used to go for pennies at garage sales and thrift stores which is now selling for a whole lot more than that.

    But that’s its own sort of magical thinking.
     
  19. LostInTyme

    LostInTyme One of the Regulars

    I have always lived by a certain premiss. I learned it from the government way of doing things. Buy high and sell low. You make up the difference in the volume. Just add it to the deficit, and move on.
     

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