The Public Library and Richard Brautigan

Many years ago I would visit on a regular basis, the South Norwalk Public Library.  While looking through the stacks of books I stumbled upon a man who was sitting at a table. He had a huge stack of books in front of him and was avidly reading a title. He had a brown bag lunch with a sandwich half eaten on top of the folded down brown bag. Odd yet poignant what we remember from our childhood.

I asked the librarian who he was and she said to me, “He comes here every day, rain or shine. Stays until closing time. His mission is to read every book in the library before he dies.” I smiled at her, checked out my books and left wondering about this eccentric person I happened upon. I would see him on subsequent visits to the library and say hello as I passed by his regular table.

I think about him from time to time when I see a new book that I want to own and read. I am curious how well read he became. I’ve built a real music library in my home office. I haven’t gotten around to reading many of the music books I have purchased yet. Life keeps us busy. Like many people I read more Web pages than printed pages anymore. The guilt of incomplete reading plagues the music of our heart. I have to remedy this….

If I had my druther I’d retire early so that I could listen to all the music I own and wish to hear from the cloud. That would serve as my backdrop for reading the music books that call me. Note to self: Get a reading lamp and easy chair for the home office…

One author I discovered through Rolling Stone Magazine in the early 70’s was Richard Brautigan. He served as the counterculture author. I was drawn to his works as a twenty year old, community college student. (Little did I realize I would become a part-time lecturer at a community college…)

I’ve looked about the house for my copies of his classic works that I must read again. Alas they are nowhere to be found. I will have to repurchase some of his books to fill that void.

This title comes to mind.

“The Abortion” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia –

What triggered these sentiments is the discovery of a new photography book by Erik Weber, Seeing Richard: Rare and Previously Unpublished Images of Richard Brautigan.  

“Erik Weber’s photographs are starkly beautiful works in their own right — but the really great thing for me is that they also amplify the reputation of an outstanding American writer who has been neglected for too long…” from Mr. Cocker’s foreword.

Next to music books, I love to collect photography books. I have another book for my never-ending list. Perhaps I should ask my local librarian to order it for me…;)

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