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Spring at Last
‘The heath was covered with golden patches of flowering grouse, gleaming magnificently in the light of the bright spring sunshine.’ SOLI.
It has been spring in Flower Mound, Texas for little more than a week but it has only been in the past couple of days that it looked like spring. The first day of spring, it snowed nearly a foot in some parts of the metropolitan area. Spring is when the library and book collecting and yes, even Sherlock Holmes takes a little holiday. The call for going outside is very strong this time of year, especially when the outside cooperates and acts like it spring.
Instead of checking email and eBay, I find myself check on the new seedlings that are popping their heads out of the ground as it slowly warms up. My yardman and his crew arrived on Saturday for the season’s first major clean-up and bush trimming. They spread the fertilizer, cut my grass and hauled away the massive piles of debris. All my books peered out of the upstairs window, feeling lonely because the lack of my presence up there. They see me down below supervising the yard work and wonder if they have done anything to offend me. It is always one of the older volumes, like a Strand Magazine that reassures the newer publications that this is my normal routine. Before long, as the day becomes hotter, I will return to the upstairs comfort of my Sherlockian Library.
There is still a trickle of library activity. My daughter was here on Saturday and she brought me a copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles published by Stone Arch. This is the graphic novel retold by Martin Powell and illustrated by Daniel Perez. My daughter, Kelly, is a librarian and this copy is a library bound, hardcover as opposed to the standard soft cover edition sold at most retailers. Also new to my collection this week was an Italian translation of A Study in Scarlet and a Hebrew translation that included The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.
These last two books came while I was in Memphis last week. My being away also gives concern to the books in my library. As can be imagined, they are a social lot and really enjoy the constant Ellis Island ambiance in the library. When I am away or especially in the spring, there are few new arrivals and the books are saddened/ As a serious collector I have to be on the alert in case one of the volumes jumps off of the shelf or when one of the French editions move down to the Bulgarian shelf for a little rendezvous. I can sometimes hear murmuring upstairs and when I come up to the library, everything is hush-hush again. Still, I get that tingly feeling when I know someone or something is watching.
Well, being cooped up all winter would surely give one a mild case of brain fever at least. I am lucky not to have been effected in the slightly (wink-wink; nudge-nudge).
‘But this rose is extra. Its smell and its colour are and embellishment of life, not a condition of it.’ NAVA.
Past 2009 Columns