One of the best things about Antiques Roadshow is when Leigh Keno comes face to face with a Chippendale chest. He motorboats, indeed. Pure furniture porn. And then Keno had to fuck it up and demonstrate that he is a ho like all the other appraising dorks and sign off on his own XXX parody by coming out with a line of inspired furniture that fits right in with your [insert style here] McMansion in some god awful subdivision with HOA fees out the ass.
Some day soon I am going to get a hold of a couple reams of 1960s paper and run a Planned Obsolescence Press chapbook through a printer on it. And it will look just like the Lines Press Aram Saroyan. Now I am not going to be some crazy person and argue that condition does not matter to a book collector. That's bullshit, and Brian Cassidy and Jeff Maser will start contacting me to buy all their hurting copies of shit with detached staples, torn pages and dampstains. But I will say that like a beautiful piece of 18th Century furniture, a great piece of mimeo has a patina, a sense of age, a distressed look. These marks of the passing of time look good; they appeal to me. Look at that Aram Saroyan up there. He has aged well, like George Clooney.
Should the foxing, age-toning and rusted staples of mimeo be considered something of a positive as in antique furniture? Let me state right out, that I do not feel this way about any corporate published hardcover. My copy of the Grove Naked Lunch damn well better be pristine. Just off the press. But with mimeo, there is something about its ephemeral nature, about its poor inking and paper quality that makes a pristine, mint copy somehow unnatural. The distress makes them authentic. Let's jump down that rabbit hole sometime. Why do collectors of rare books detest the signs of age that mark there book as authentic and not a Keno-styled ripoff? There is something here related to MILFs and cougars I am sure. Many collectors are just displaying trophies. Particularly collectors of Modern Firsts. Something that looks good in the library, like Victoria Silvstedt looks good by the pool. That said, I cannot stand detached staples. It is an eyesore, but to replace them would be like giving the publication a case of trout pout. You cannot have a clean, shiny staple on a vintage mimeo. Again like with furniture, you cannot stain or polish too much. Keep that wear and age; do not overdo the plastic surgery.
I would really like to have a conversation with mimeo dorks about this issue, because when I received my copies of Lines Press publications I must say I was pleased with how they looked blemishes and all. Am I crazy here? They were simple, beautiful objects, like pieces of Shaker furniture. In both, the signs of age in the wood (paper) were a major part of their allure.