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September 17, 2012


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Joe Marchione

I sold a 1st printing of Maximum Bob by Elmore Leonard earlier today. Not for much money... All right, it was dirt cheap. Still, it’s been online at the same price since I bought it back in 1999. I didn’t give the sale much thought as it happened. Elmore Leonard is a solid author and there is nothing really unusual about selling one of his titles. Luck of the draw... sooner or later... chalk it up to chance if you must make any kind of chalk marks at all.

I processed the order, went back to cataloging, took a breather in the late afternoon and did a quick scan of the news. Politics, Middle East ... the dull roar of the-song-remains-the-same when I stumbled across this headline:

Author Elmore Leonard wins prestigious book award.

That’s worth a click through... Cool... “ the National Book Foundation announced the recipients of its annual lifetime achievement awards. The medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters will be presented to the novelist and screenwriter Elmore Leonard for his work in fiction” Believe it or not, I still did not put it together. Gimme a break. I'm tired.

This evening, I got home and re-read my Fowles bit, grumbling at my cursory treatment of nearly every point I was trying to make. I got to number 3: “Periodic bursts of public visibility” and thought about some examples I should have used... The inevitable publicity each time an author releases a new book. A movie or TV show based on his/her work. And of course the ultimate burst, for better or worse, the death of the author after which what almost always awaits is decline, be it steady or precipitous. There must be more... Awards... Awards! And *finally* the ‘out of nowhere’ Leonard sale clicked. And I wonder if I should rename point 3 “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”

Kurt Zimmerman

I too read this blog. Allan was a great friend (and so is Joe when I get to see him). Thanks for keeping Allan's spirit alive. Kurt Zimmerman

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What I'm Doing Here

  • Allan Milkerit was a good friend and a great bookman. After his unexpected death I ended up with hundreds of the books in his shop and apartment. One at a time, I am unearthing them and deciding which to keep and which to sell or give away. Often, I read the book first, or try to. In the process, I think about Allan and the changes the rare book world is undergoing. This blog's only regular reader is Joe Marchione, who shared a shop with Allan for several years. Joe's reflections are too good to leave as mere comments so I hoist them into their own posts.