Thursday, February 08, 2007

Confessions of a bibliophile

When I first moved to Rochester, there was a wonderful Catholic shop called Trant’s. You could get all sorts of Catholic and religious items there – statues, rosaries, holy cards, Bibles, missals, the latest in theology and the Catholic classics, music, clerical supplies, you name it.

Alas, the store hit hard times, moved, and then moved again. It still exists – as a hole-in-the wall place with a poor and terribly outdated selection.

But lay people stepped into the gap. A parish group opened their own store, staffed by volunteers, offering Catholic and religious items at discount prices.

The shelves are crammed with title new and obscure. There are books there you won’t find anywhere else.

Chesterton would appreciate it – because of the selection, and the labor of love it represents for the volunteer staff.

I have been a frequent customer of theirs. The volunteers are all friendly and are as excited about what customers find as are the customers. There’s nothing like a nice bookstore.

It also has the best selection of Chesterton books and tapes in the region.

I stopped by there this week and added two books to my collection.

The first was a 1990 edition of Brave New Family, a collection of essays by Chesterton on men, women, children, families, enemies of the family, and Christmas culled from his books and columns. A nice find.

But the one I’ve been savoring is a 2006 reissue of his 1935 book The Well and the Shallows. There is a nice introduction by Dale Alquist. The book opens with “An Apology for Buffoons,” and I’ve been chuckling over his observations on alliteration, puns cliques and jokes.

If I keep this up, I may have to buy a bookcase just to house my Chesterton related works.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know the feeling. I talked my wife into getting me the first volume of his complete works and The Man Who Was Thursday.
1 down, about 39 to go. At one a Christmas I'll have the complete set before i'm 80!