Collecting and Reading - Life Passing You By or Meaningful Pastime???

A few weeks ago I read David Markson's Reader's Block. A depressing experience. As someone whose entire life is based on reading and collecting, a book like Markson's makes you lay in bed and stare at the ceiling, wondering just what you have done with your life.

The antidote to Markson's bitter pill is the champion of reading Alberto Manguel. Manguel puts reading front and center as that which makes us human and truly alive.

For collectors the highs and lows are Benjamin's Unpacking My Library and Baudrillard's The System of Collecting.

As a reader and collector you, of course, have to read from all sides and have copies of Markson, Manguel, Benjamin and Baudrillard. Highs and lows. I am reminded of a story I read (of course) somewhere of Brian Jones walking amongst his subjects at Monterey with uppers in one pocket and downers in the other. As Brian said in an interview at Monterey published in The Beat, a California music mag, "There are mistakes on both sides." What really matters is that you do it, that you read and collect, that, for better or worse, you make it a part of your everyday life.



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