bookshops

The Hunt

I still feel exhausted because of the extensive reading in which I was engaged at the beginning of this week. In the course of just a few days I have read more than three hundred Emily Dickinson’s poems – twice (some of them thrice and some even four or five times) – in order to select twenty best-loved ones for the upcoming event: an evening of Dickinson’s and Poe’s poetry…

A “serious” problem presented itself shortly after the initial excitement – neither I nor the person whose idea this event was actually own Dickinson in translation. Since, of course, poems cannot be read from paper sheets!, I embarked on a mission to thoroughly search the city bookshops, antique shops, and street vendor stalls and find a copy. The mission disappointingly proved itself – impossible. Not a single volume found! Well, to be precise and honest, I did find something: The Poems of Emily Dickinson – The belle of Amhurst which would be as usable as nothing since it contains but a few poems and a long analysis of Emily’s poetry and life.

I did the only thing I could – I got back home and made my own book.

The quest, however, was not all disappointment.. I profoundly enjoyed sniffing around the shelves and just being surrounded by a vast number of desirable books. I wished I was bold enough to get into a conversation with antiquarians, to ask them about their shops, their books-related life stories, their favorite authors or titles and current readings. What more, I wished I had guts to offer myself as an assistant clerk…

“I know You don’t really need one, sir, but, if nothing, think of it as a good deed.. You needn’t even pay me.. Except, I think, You would prove so kind and would want to reward my work with a book or two a month.. Of my own choice.. And, would it be possible for me to use Your shop as a library? I solemnly swear I will not cause them any harm!”

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