Saturday, May 30, 2009

Books suck

Why are bookshops always going out of business? Don't worry. This is going to be the short version. Because books suck. You're waiting for us to qualify that statement, but we mean it. Like the fat tick under the puppy's ear. Books suck.

They're parasitic. They inspire fierce protective instincts in those who have been bitten by them and fierce indifference in those who have not. And the faithful are intensely devoted. So much so that we give over huge chunks of our free time and money- and in the case of the most unlucky (those who seek to make a living from the things)- every drop of our soul juice. Somehow convinced of the greatness pent up in these lumps of rotting wood mush, we sign away our very soul juice. In other words, books make you stupid.

We risk our livelihood, our capital, our very future on these dead, dead objects- objects which require fully-developed human minds (rarest commodity in the universe?) to reclaim even the tiniest amount of the effort that went into making the fucking things. Does that sound like sanity?

Bookshops are always going out of business because the basic concept is flawed. Trying to sell a product that mocks you if you haven't read it, demands all your concentration if you try, and provides dubious rewards if consumed... yeah, that's smart.

It's like trying to sell a diet pill shaped like Marilyn Monroe that may make you fatter, may make you thinner, but definitely will give you the runs. Or something like that. Or maybe it's like selling a teddy bear that stabs you with hidden knives when you try to cuddle it. A stabby bear. Except not even as cool as a stabby bear.

Einstein read a lot of books. Look where that got him. Dead. Just like he would have been anyway. Oh. And his brain is in, like, 55,000 slices at Princeton. Learn from the example.

Porn. Porn is much better. You'll still end up dead, but, wow, books vs. porn? Are you kidding? Bambi vs. Godzilla? And have you played Super Halo Mario Gear? How can we compete with Super Halo Mario Gear? So screw books. They suck. Goddamn low-profit-margin pieces of crap!

Now get your asses down here and buy an armload, because stupid loves company. And if you don't we'll be both stupid and broke.


This week:

All items mentioned below are first come, first serve. If you want something, let us know post-haste (because they're also for sale on the interweb)! All new items sell for cover price, used items as marked. Sadly, trade credit cannot be used for new items.

Our books are always searchable via ABEbooks.


Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork
, Richard Brautigan.
(Paperback, out of print)

His third book of poetry. Brautigan would go on to write six more. His collected works totaled more than twenty volumes of short stories, novels, novellas, poems, and miscellaneous prose. At the age of 49, he stopped writing entirely to concentrate on film direction, winning the Jury Prize at Cannes in 1989 with his masterpiece, "Two Crows, Out of Sequence." Compared variously to Terrence Malick, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Yasujiro Ozu, his films are credited with reshaping the landscape of American cinema. He died in 2006, at the age of... Oh, sorry, that's the Richard Brautigan of Earth 12-D. The Richard Brautigan of THIS reality shot himself in the head in 1984. He was not a well man. Sorry for any confusion. "Two Crows" is magnificent, if you're ever on Earth 12-D.

($12) [Sold]


Squeeze Play, Paul Benjamin (Paul Auster).
(Paperback, out of print)

Paul Auster's first novel, written pseudonymously. He now no longer acknowledges the book and when asked to sign it at readings reacts violently. Legend has it, he attacked one fan with a dose of deep ennui laden with overtones of inadequacy and intimations of his own mortality. It wasn't pretty.



Dust Covers: The Collected Sandman Covers, 1989-1997
Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman.
(Hardcover, out of print)

In every newsletter, there's usually at least one book we describe seriously (or as seriously as we are able), often because we deeply admire the work contained therein. This is not such a book. And not because Mr. McKean lacks talent. He is, in fact, a sickly, deliriously talented painter. However, he uses photoshop as a crutch at virtually every opportunity, and this is unforgivable. So he is not deeply admired round these parts. But this IS our serious review.



Home Tanning Leather & Small Fur Skins
, F.P. Veitch, et al.
(Stapled pamphlet, out of print)

Ever stroked a little bunny rabbit's soft, soft fur? Ever wished you could take that experience home with you but didn't know how?



Japanese Homes and their Surroundings, Edward S. Morse.

Reprint of the 1886 edition. There is no chapter on chairs. Tables, check. Beds, check. Porches, hearths, cushions. Check, check, check. Hello! Japanese people! There are chairs!

($9.50) [Sold]


Worm Therapy


Gummi Bear Surgery


Everything's turning into a pile of shit.

Except this.


Bambi vs. Godzilla


# of weeks since Spine and Crown inception: 186

# of weeks since inception that no mention of Spine and Crown has appeared in the print edition of The Stranger: 186


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