Monday, November 14, 2011

Modern Librarian

I love Modern Library books and actively started collecting them a few years ago when I'd managed to snag several with intact dust jackets at a few of the better library sales (a tip for the library sale naif: the best source for books of literary consequence is your local JCC). I have a vague intention of collecting all of the volumes in the Modern Library one day—I don't know how many there are and I prefer to remain ignorant for now—and then admiring them grouped together in all their glory. I remember a piece in Martha Stewart Living from maybe a dozen years ago featuring the interior of a home belonging to Martha's irascible daughter Alexis. She had a collection of Modern Library books on display—but maybe she had the jackets removed? For the sake of color uniformity? I would never do that. Regardless, it made an impression. Of course she probably bought them all in one lot, which really sucks the fun out of it, in my humble opinion.

I got these editions of Jane Eyre and David Copperfield at one estate sale—an amateur deal where all the moldy books were strewn willy-nilly across the moldering carpet and the safest way to browse was to just kind of gingerly push stuff around with your foot. What are the chances of finding your two favorite novels of all time at one sale? When all the other books were of a religious or self-helpy nature? That doesn't happen often, people.

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