Friday, January 12, 2007

Memoirs of a Book Snake

Forty years of seeking and saving old books

So, does seeking and saving old books make one a book snake? Turns out David Meyer has been a book scout, and "snake" was a language mangling by a friend who meant "worm." Whatever. Book scouting, it appears, is an absorbing avocation, but you'll never get rich that way. The thrill is in the chase.

This is a tidy, friendly volume about how Meyer has been engrossed with old books since the dawn of (his) time, and has made a buck on it now and then. It's a glimpse into another world, one in which experience and instinct count for much, and the love of books is all-pervasive.

I'm always interested in books about books, as well as glimpses into another world, so I enjoyed this book. But not so much as I expected; there was an air of pathos about it, as though he was dabbling in the shallows of book dealing, neither in nor out of that world.


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