August 26, 2008

Famous Times


I finally had a productive interview for what feels like an actual career today. Yes, a job without headset telephones. One with actual adult-level responsibility that pays an actual adult-wage. I don't want to talk too much about it, as I have had consistent bad luck in job hunting throughout my adult life, so I don't want to jinx anything. But, you know, I was feeling pretty damn good about myself after the interview. I will say one thing about the job though, the department I interviewed with at this establishment and two administrative assistants, and both of them were guys. I'm pretty sure that that's the first time I've ever seen two male secretaries working at a joint before. To be honest, I can't think of a time where I've seen one male secretary working at a place. Madison sure is a progressive joint.

So after I had a giggly, celebratory breakfast with the wife at Madison's finest breakfast joint, Monty's Blue Plate Diner (try the zucchini and potato pancakes) we went out and bought something I didn't need. Yes, it was a book, naturally. It was kind of like that moment in High Fidelity where John Cusack finds out that his ex-girlfriend hasn't slept with Tim Robbins, so he's all hyped up. And then he says to the camera something like, "I feel so good right now, that I'm going to go out and sleep with that Huxtable girl, Lisa Bonet." So the purchase was a little foolish, expensive, but it's a notch on the bedpost most people of particular persuasion wouldn't mind having.

I got me this:
A first edition, first printing, rarely (if ever) read copy, that is. I did some cursory comparison shopping on, and I'm pretty sure I overpaid for it, as I'm not certain of where, or how really, to properly gauge the actual worth of a book (but if a particular Cat Lady checks her voicemail, maybe I could get it signed). But, it's a pretty damn neat thing for me to have, and will snuggle up nicely next to the Barry Hannah first edition, and the autographed William Matthews. Probably should put my first edition of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency in with that lot too, but it lacks a dust jacket, and the only other book of potential value I have is this first-edition Louise Erdrich, but it got scarred by one of those impossible-to-remove college bookstore stickers, and some pencil notes I put in the margins, which I made before I noticed what exactly I had.

What's great about the bookstore where I purchased this is that it has lot of cool, pricey, collectible books. Like a first-edition of an F. Scott Fitzgerald (I can't remember the title) for a cool 750 bucks, or some Philip Roth, Eudora Welty, Bobbie Ann Mason, Thomas "You Can't Go Home Again" Wolfe and so on. What was really kind of cool about it, this guy who works there saw me eyeballing the glass case of rare books and said, "You want to look at anything," and I said yes because I was intending on getting that Rock Springs, so he just unlocked the case and said, "Have at it." The case he opened had all that stuff listed above, and more. I nearly plucked out that Fitzgerald book, just to say that I've held a first-edition of his books, but I couldn't do it, because, what if I sneezed, or dropped it, or my nervous-sweaty hands mucked up a page. I couldn't do it. Before I closed the case, and left with my book, I inhaled deeply of that glass case. And, oh, it smelled of pure library, baby.'s that smell, that dust and paper smell. Smells like...home.

Really loving Madison, in case you couldn't tell. And, this afternoon, once Emily gets home, where' seeking out this place called The Frugal Muse to see what they have there. And sometime later, we gotta check out these (presumably) genre stores in town called Booked For Murder and Bookstore At the End of the Universe. And, you know, there's still more used book stores around here to paw through to see what can be found, or even junk stores that advertise they sell books. There's also this one high-end, gallery joint that sells antiquities, rare maps and collectible books, but I think you need an appointment to go there, and I don't have the money to go there, so I don't want to waste their time.

Thank god I married a librarian.

viva el mustache


Bronson said...

I'm jealous that you got to go to Monty's Blue Plate Diner. That place is soooo good!

Which bookstore did you find the Richard Ford (I feel like such an expert on Madison bookstores now!)?

DeWolf said...

I purchased a first edition Rock Springs on Amazon. The book is in perfect condition, but I'm convinced that the dust jacket is a reprint.

Jorge said...

I'll send you an autographed first edition of a Jorge Evans. If, you know, that ever happens.

I like first edition books. I have a few. And I hide them. I want to make a false bottom in one of my bookshelves to put them, but I'm afraid I'd get mice that would eat them up.

Diana said...

I noticed I missed a call from Wisconsin today. It was you, pipsqueak, wasn't it?

Yes, sent it to me, and I make sure to get it signed.

Diana said...

You didn't get a Famous Times tattoo, did you?

Also: have you made your appointment yet with Janet at the Psychic Gallery Emporium???

Emily said...

The Frugal Muse was AWESOME! I love to walk into a used bookstore and have to look up because they have books stacked everywhere. Almost made me cry.

And I'm glad I married a book lover. Makes practicing my trade easy to do! :)