Saturday, March 15, 2008

About the Antiquarian Bookworm

To all who have ever drooled over the contents of my house:

It took about 24.6 years for this to permeate my thick skull in practical terms, but I do indeed live surrounded by a veritable feast for bookworms. In fact, I dare say I live in a fantastic world of which most antiquarian bookworms can only dream.

Those who know my situation will attest to this. After all, my father is a bookseller, dealing in antiquarian and theological books and Bibles. Our Victorian three-story home is filled with stack upon stack as well as (too few) bookcases filled to overflowing with old leather- or cloth-bound puritan and reformed theology. Mix in Bibles, miniatures, Salesman's Samples, communion tokens, Spurgeon's original sermons, Matthew Henry, Richard Sibbes, Samuel Rutherford, and many more authors and bits of ephemera than I am aware of and you imagine only a small portion of the piles I avoid as I walk down the hallway.

Bookworms thrive in this sort of environment, where stacks are left untouched from one year to the next. Fortunately not many of them survive squashing in this home. Bookworms of the human variety also thrive, and instead of facing their demise, they are encouraged to read. Unfortunately, they aren't encouraged to read here (it's not a lending-library except to the privileged few... family members) and many would-be bookworm patrons find that the cost of admission (the temptation to covet a multiplicity of good books at reasonable prices) is too great for their budget.

Having always been a self-proclaimed bookworm, I have decided it is long past time that I share some of the treasure-trove to which I have access. I hope you enjoy these appetizers of out-of-print volumes as I share with you a variety of the books I try not to trip over on a daily basis.