Friday, December 15, 2006
This Is Why I Love Used Bookstores.
Because sometimes you find a book by Daniel W. Streeter, published in 1927, with "Elizabeth and John L. Ruels" written with an ink and a style of penmanship that nobody uses anymore. Isn't it odd how you can tell a book is old just from the handwriting of the owner inside the cover?
And apparently it's a true story.
But the best part about this book is the title.

Not just Camels. Not just Camels! Not just CAMELS!

With two exclamation points.
How could one not be intrigued?

I began reading with high hopes and still found myself pleasantly surprised.

Chapter 1
Paris. In which I resist everything but temptation.

Why do men do it?
Several times that winter the question intruded itself. Why on earth had I left the fruity ease of Paris, and traveled three thousand miles for the pleasure of dashing myself up against sunbaked Abyssinian foothills - the very essence of everything Paris was not!
Once, when it looked as though our persons were about to be gently massaged by the hooves of seventy buffalo, the question rose in my mind very vividly.
Again, a few days later, I squatted gazing into the limpid orbs of four female elephants. Just before leaving Khartoum a fellow became verbose explaining that one of the favorite pastimes of the blase elephant consisted in its wrapping the trunk amorously about one's neck and pulling one's head off. Though it's generally considered impossible, as I looked into the eyes of those females, two thoughts occupied my mind simultaneously: "Why do men do it?" and - "Are those elephants blase?"
As to the "why" of it in our particular case, there is only one answer. It was September in Paris. The sunsets were golden; the twilights lingered, steely blue, then, black velvet shot with luminous star dust. Like cool Borean caresses the soft evening breezes wrapt themselves about one. Partridges were in season. Naturally, one's thoughts wandered.

Who wants to borrow it once I'm finished?

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Anonymous col said...

I would love to read it. I might check out my antique book store first.
*gets an idea

Blogger Thérèse said...

Oooh, me me! ME!

Blogger Sarah Smile said...

I'll make a list.

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