I finished Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Booklore by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone today. It wasn’t as good as their first one, Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World; their first one seemed to have more enthusiasm. I found myself skimming pages of this new one, where they describe a Sotheby’s auction or what Bloomsbury is all about; I just didn’t care. Many sections seemed to consist of advertisements for stores they frequent or restaurants they’ve been to. Their freedom to buy almost anything they wanted was annoying, too; they seem to have no budget problems, with their complaints about how expensive a book was coming across as superficial. It’s their insights into book collecting that was interesting: how dealers frequent library sales and every book fair in driving distance; how dealers’ prices vary greatly, but there are a lot of honest sellers out there; that you should collect what you like, not thinking books as an investment; about particular valuable books to keep an eye out for, such as those by published by Hogarth Press. There was a section about mystery-related books and how they’re collectable among dedicated readers, but they went on too long about an award banquet that few people cared about.
I’m going to read Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal next.