Occasionally I come upon a phrase that sets me thinking. This happened a few days ago. I wanted to buy a copy of Colin Wilson’s book “Poetry & Mysticism” and when I checked Advanced Book Exchange (ABE), I found entries for five or six used-book dealers who were offering copies for sale at reasonable prices.
Whenever I decide to order a book online, I favour placing the order with a Canadian dealer – for reasons of patriotism, but also to save the hassle of customs inspection and the $5 charge for that “inspection.” (Canada Customs charges us “duty” to impose its tax on books purchased abroad!)
The Canadian bookseller I chose has an unusual name – Pilgrim Reader. The operation is located at Combermere, Ontario, and it is run by book-enthusiasts John and Sandy Lynch. I checked their website and found that they have a motto. Every bookseller should have a motto – or two!
Their motto is “So many books – so little time.” I liked it. At first, I thought it had come from Chaucer (“the crafte so long to learne”). I emailed John Lynch to find out, adding that, if he agreed, I would include it in my next “quote book.” He replied that the words are not his, but that they come from the U.S. author Flannery O’Connor.
“No problem,” I replied. “I want to include the motto in my next quote book anyway. Is that okay?” Mr. Lynch gave me the go-ahead, so when my next dictionary of Canadian quotations appears, it will include those words and it will credit both O’Connor and Pilgrim Reader, a disguised form of advertising!
Yes, life is very short and the list of all the books that I want to read is very long. I hope my life is long enough to read all the books
I plan to read. If that happens, I will live … forever! — J.R.C.