This afternoon I met an ambulatory bookseller on Valencia street.

He was having problems parting with his favorites. While we were talking he snuck Melville's The Confidence Man out of his cart and into his bag.

He had managed to part with some stuff, though. Before I met him he said he'd sold a volume of three stories by Richard Brautigan.

He and his friend tried to describe Brautigan's writing to me--"It's really unique," they told me and then admitted that didn't mean much. "He has a sly sense of humor. He loved hamburgers and they keep on coming up in his writing." They tried again. "The opening of one of his books is about a guy who opens a library where anyone can bring books they've written, like a kindergartner who wrote one in crayon or an old lady who writes about growing flowers by candle light. He has these increddible inventive metaphors like," and they stalled, trying to think of something that would do the author justice. Here's one, though not entirely representative of the author's quality: "I loved her cash registers full, but she loved me a penny."

He dug through the cart and recommended a book for me --Dubliners, by James Joyce. "I think you'll like it," he said. "It's what turned me on to Joyce." I told him about my 10/19 blog posting--the Joyce fan who had tattooed on his left wrist is the thesis of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man--non serviam.

Right now he's reading A Thousand and One Nights.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your visit.