Since my last post gushing about the 2nd hand bookshop scene in Auckland my habit has unfortunately worsened and the intray is a stack reaching higher and higher. Also, when chatting to friends (Paul, David) new recommendations keep on coming, so i intend to set up a Books page on this blog, and, hopefully, we can have a bit of a conversation there. I know this isn’t a forum, and if it gets too long i’ll make another plan. Though judging from the responses recorded on this blog so far – as in nada, nada, nada – sniff – i doubt that will ever happen.
The picture shows the frontispiece of a lovely old two volume edition of the now totally discredited 19th century pseudo-science of phrenology. I think Sherlock Holmes and later the Nazis were also into this for a while. The length of your nose, the shape of your head, the bumps on your skull, the broadness of your chin, the slant of your eyes and many other physical characteristics were assessed and correlations drawn between features and the propensity to be devious, dishonest, criminal, crazy, less-than-human.
Perhaps a formalization of attitudes that have always been there, will always be there?
So, there it is, at the Devonport Vintage Bookshop just a short ferryride across on the North Shore, a steal at only NZ$200.
I settled for Robert Coover – Pricksongs and Descants (NZ$4) and Eoin McNamee – The Last of Deeds & Love in History (NZ$3).