Monday, January 29, 2007


Kent and I walked downtown Sunday and had lunch at a taqueria and stopped in at a used ink cartridge store – or tried to; it was closed. For no reason I can think of (other than the nefarious) the brand new black ink cartridge that came with our Epson printer, the Epson announced (after printing no more than 20 pages), was empty empty empty and that was that. The stationery store downtown was closed, too. So we gave up on the errand and stepped into Games of Berkeley where we squeezed rubber duckies, gazed dully at the in-progress Star Wars board game, and wound up a somersaulting monkey. I bought an origami book because it was cheap and it was Dover and I don’t think I have one. Origami is one of those things that looks more fun that it is. I remember folding a snail, which ended up looking pretty impressive, but on the way I got so frustrated I hurled the instruction book across the room. Nevertheless I would like to be able to have some simple forms memorized – particularly how to fold a drinking cup and the ever-popular crane. At Half Price Kent did not find the newest Pynchon and at Comic Relief Kent said he preferred I didn’t buy him the book of illustrations inspired by Gravity’s Rainbow.

Dover, by the way, is a publisher that specializes in returning to print in inexpensive paperback books that have gone out of copyright. There are two Dover books that were significant to my childhood. One was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Dover edition put up with a lot of abuse (I carried it around a lot) and is still intact (though some of the sewn signatures – sewn! unusual for a paperback – are a tad loose). The Dover edition was the only one available with the original Denslow illustrations. I loved that the Cowardly Lion was a giant cat, not a dude in a costume. The other book was It’s Fun to Make Things from Scrap Materials. It was a book sent to me (probably to me & my brother) by my dad. The book fascinated me and I would take it down from the shelf and study its old-fashioned looking drawings and read over the instructions and not quite want actually to get to work on making the crafts. I loved imagining the making though.


Andrew Shields said...

I think my edition of stories by Lord Dunsany was a sewn Dover paperback. A beautiful back, unfortunately lost. That incredibly memorable story about chess, which is still only a fragment of a dream in my memory now.

David Lee Ingersoll said...

I picked up a Dover edition of Queen Zixi of Ix at Half Price Books a few months ago. I don't know if it was sewn or not. The illustrations were charming.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

By contrast the glue in the Narnia books we got as kids has failed and pages fall out every time you open one.