Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Of Books and Birthdays

I had the distinct pleasure of attending the South Carolina Book Festival at the Convention yesterday with some friends.

Embarrassingly, I admit it was my first time at the Festival - and despite the dreary weather, the temperament inside the convention center was anything but. Hundreds of folks - mostly older - meandering through the floor, going up and down the make shift aisles visiting the stalls of Booksellers and Publishers alike - and digging through the stacks, as it were, of the antiquarians who came from far and wide to tempt the bibliophile and bibliomaniac with their collections of 1st and 2nd editions and ancient texts. If you saw my twitter yesterday you'll have noticed I was all a twitter over a leather bound Biblia Sacra (Vulgata) from 1743, in decent condition with gold trimmed pages for the low, low price of $200.00, here's a similar example.

Perhaps the Antiquarians were unaware that we're in a recession, that or my bibliophilia is in check and I've not quite slipped over to bibliomania. The difference between the two, I would learn later from none other than Nicholas A. Basbanes, being the Bibliophile is the master and possessor of books, while the bibliomaniac - is their slave.

Consequentially after hearing Mr. Basbanes speak I purchased three of his books: A Gentle Madness, Patience & Fortitude, and Every Book Its Reader. Mr. Basbanes being himself a renowned scholar of the book, who as it is blogs. (Here's his post about being in USC's library vault in special collections)

Mr. Basbanes was at the festival to memorialize the late Matthew Bruccoli who was the premier F. Scott Fitzgerald scholar, tenured at the USC and who donated his entire collection of Fitzgerald Works and Memorabilia (worth over $2m) to the school. Mr. Bruccoli, a friend of Basbanes, was also one of the subjects Every Book Its Reader.

Before hearing Basbanes though I sat in on a discussion of Colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina - three scholar authors were there presenting their respective works on the subject - with the most intriguing subjects, in my opinion, being the work presented by Dr. Patricia Causey Nichols (Voices of Our Ancestors) and Ed Southern, (Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas). Consequently I purchased Mr. Southern's tome as it's a collection of personal accounts that he edited. He also signed the work for me.

I ended the day at the flying saucer with a cold pint of beer.
So what do Books have to do with Birthdays? In this post not much. It's a title for alliterative effect and theirs no way to actually appropriately joining the two subjects except thusly.

My Birthday is coming up a week from Tuesday. On March 10, 2009 I'll turn the grand old age of 26. I've spoken with my better half and mentioned it to some but this year - to all those friends and loved ones that read this blog, as well as other interested parties - I ask that in lieu of gifts or any shared activity that all who are able and wish to do so make a donation to the Nickelodeon. The suggested amount would of course be $26.00 but any amount according to one's capabilities or willingness will suffice.

So who will do it? To celebrate my birthday this year who will help me celebrate by making a donation. Save the money, friends, of going to dinner with me - instead give it to the Nick to help them in their efforts as they move closer to relocating.

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