The Dark And Stormy Dumpster Book Salon
It started innocently enough. My friend Kenneth, the apex copper predator, was teaching me how to cave dive a dumpster. I have used his quadrant-and-tunnel technique ever since. Starting in one quadrant, I set everything onto a second quadrant until I am at the bottom. From this elevator shaft space, it is quite fun to tunnel into the second quadrant for a bit before returning to the surface, and repeating the setting-the-contents-aside activity.
A lot of treasures sink to the bottom, where I love to look: coins, gold rings, jewlery, and often things like china and chrystal stemware. I once found a beautiful Lladro egg 1993, at the bottom of a dumpster. I sent it to my mother for her collection.
But when Kenneth is in a dumpster, particularly if he arrives first, I retrieve items other than metal because he is a highly specialized and efficient scraper. So we have a loving and symbiotic relationship, because I happen to love books; he gives me books that are in his way and I give him metal that is in my way. So I have became a pretty serious book collector.
I also once found an intact November 22, 1963 newspaper, as well as a Rand McNally Indiana map that was over one hundred years old and showed only railroads and utilities.
This past year or so I have been finding a lot of books from the twenties, thirties and forties, as well as vintage books. I suspect that our WWII era is dying, and estate sales or even yard sales are common. Whatever does not sell goes to a charity, and the charity discards the books. Where I wait. If you want to see an example of an ecclectic library, go to a dumpster that is likely to have books.
This could be an endless series of diaries, but I would like to mention a few interesting books that I have found and share with you some of the things they say.
A History of Amerian Government and Culture by Harold Rugg (1931):
On page 381 under the subheading “Unscrupulous Individuals Amassed Great Fortunes” it says,
“It was during the 1870’s also that dishonest speculators openly bribed legislatures and city councils in utter contempt for law and the rights of the public. They disregarded law, public opinion, and the rights of defenseless people, admitting that they were interested only in piling up wealth and accumulating power.”
Now, this book was published just at the start of the depression. Is it just me or does history seem to be repeating itself?
The second book is called The Science of Mentalphysics Inner Chamber Volume I by Edwin Dingle. It is typewritten and bound, with three notebook holes in each page. Online research tells me that this is indeed the author, although each chapter is hand signed “Ding Le Mei” and not typed. Each chapter was written in Los Angeles- this much is noted. I believe the work to be circa early Sixties, and it is a series of spiritual exercises and teachings.
Mentalphysics is only 122 pages, but is very condensed in terms of dedication to personal health and well-being. I believe the point is to guide one toward finding love and peace within oneself, and harmony with others. Edwin Dingle studied under a Tibetan mystic and became well versed in spiritual discipline.
The next book, one of my absolute favotites, is a hard-bound, pocket sized book called How to Live on 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennet (1910):
Essentially the author addresses the grief and dissatisfaction we feel when we are suddenly old and have not accomplished or experienced anything near to what we always may have envisioned for ourselves. He addresses time as a commodity for each of us. We all start with the same number of minutes in our ‘purse’ each day, but it is amazing how many minutes we spend on trains (at the time), for example, sort of wasting away. The result, for everyone, it seems, is constant regret.
I am always happy to see folks writing about the arts because they enrich and fulfill our natural quest for knowledge. This book is short, reprinted, and well worth reading.
I hope that others enjoy books as much as I do. I have some wonderful finds to share, such as an early, laminated-page Old English font copy of The Secret Teachings of All The Ages by Manley Hall, as well as some German books, one at least published in 1785, in Old German font, on parchment that I have no idea what it is. So I need your help as well. Hope some linguists or book worms can chime in.
I would also love to compare notes and discuss interesting books. I have several sets of encyclopedias but I do not know if encyclopedias matter to anyone any more.
I will have my camera for the next blog.
more information on Edwin Dingle: