Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Rambler: Buchhandlung Suggestions

I bought for €15 a 2 vol. edn. 1877 of The Rambler by Samuel Johnson published by William Tegg ,Cheapside; cloth with gilding in the best Victorian gentleman’s library way. (condition good, slight foxing)Tegg was a pal of Dickens in his early days so as a suggestion to Myles’s Buchhandlung Service I would respectfully recommend a steel nib inscription: ‘As a break from ‘little D.’ best Bill - don’t forget lunch on the 30th.’ A Henry Irving play flyer as a book mark would complete the provenance. Expensive but worth it.

Yes, this question of book-handling. The other day I had a word to say about the necessity for the professional book-handler, a person who will maul the books of illiterate, but wealthy, upstarts so that the books will look as if they have been read and re-read by their owners. How many uses of mauling would there be? Without giving the matter much thought, I should say four. Supposing an experienced handler is asked to quote for the handling of one shelf of books four feet in length. He would quote thus under four heads:--
'Popular Handling--Each volume to be well and truly handled, four leaves in each to be dog-eared, and a tram ticket, cloak-room docket or other comparable article inserted in each as a forgotten book-mark. Say, £1 7s 6d. Five per cent discount for civil servants.'
'Premier Handling-Each volume to be thoroughly handled, eight leaves in each to be dog-eared, a suitable passage in not less than 25 volumes to be underlined in red pencil, and a leaflet in French on the works of Victor Hugo to be inserted as a forgotten book-mark in each. Say, £2 17s 6d. Five per cent discount for literary university students, civil servants and lady social workers.'
buchhandlung service

What I am suggesting verges on Le Traitment Superbe meretricious nay vulgar withal but with gilt que voulez-vous?

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