Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Visit to Strand

I was walking uptown to my bus stop the other day when I realized how much time remained to spare. Happily, I stood not only in the vicinity of but in front of Strand and so I entered. I hadn't been inside for a while and upon realizing this I made haste to the music section. Craning my neck up toward the rafters I began scan the shelves. Nothing new for Mozart. Ooh, something on the Missa Solemnis? Definitely. A whole book on parody in Bach? Gold! So I troubled the clerk for a ladder and making my way up I noticed a serendipitously placed misfile: a book of concerto themes. Not necessary, but charming: mine now.

This went on for some time until I brought my hefty pile toward the register. I plopped it on the counter, beaming with pride as the cashier began to ring up my books. Bloop. Bloop. "Yes, yes, keep blooping!" I greedily chirped to myself. Now I thought I had shopped with great prudence but my purchase qualified me for a free tote. The icing.

Now short on time, I hustled toward the bus stop and on the journey I became aware of the social dimensions of my purchase. From the moment I had stepped outside the bibliophile's enclave of Strand, my bag had identified me as a book man. This experience surprised your humble blogger, who generally endeavors not to serve as a bipedal billboard. Yet there I walked, telling all how I loved books. The bag didn't have a sports team logo or a pricy brand name stenciled on the side, but it said, "Strand," that is, "books." What a powerful statement the word book still makes. I was also seized several times with the urge to strike several specimens of the chattering couture masses with my sack, but that might have been unrelated.

At home I spent a few hours rearranging my bookshelves to accomodate my new wards, embossing them and introducing them to the fold.  I may get a little carried away playing the librarian, entering the titles into a catalogue as I do, but I can't help feeling a custodian to these books and the ideas within.

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