Monday, June 14, 2010

The Brutality of Bookish Folk

The above is a very finely printed bit on a nice paper. It's been around the store for a long time and I find it amusing always. I think it takes something true about bookish folk (peculiarity) and then drives it too far and accuses the whole lot of corruption. Certainly there are corrupt and unfair bookish types out there, but I should like to think that we at Loome's do in fact act for the good of society... and certainly there are others who do likewise. Of course, Locke is referring to bookish folk in his own day. Perhaps those were brutal bookish days?

Though not explicitly mentioned, I believe librarians would also have to fall into the category of "all that trade in [books]" (just in case some of you thought you didn't qualify for Locke's accusation).

Books seem to me to be pestilent things, & infect all that trade in them... with something very perverse & brutal. Printers, binders, sellers, and others that make a trade and gain out of them have universally so odd a turn & corruption of mind that they have a way of dealing peculiar to themselves, and not conformed to the good of society and that general fairness which cements mankind. -- John Locke

(Hand-printed by Gerald Lange at The Bieler Press of Minneapolis in an edition of 240 copies in March of 1985.)

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