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Flight Recordings

The UK has Cool Books I will Never See

Jeffrey Channing Wells

Learning to Fly

The UK has Cool Books I will Never See

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Learning to Fly
It is sometimes a wonder in the modern digital library-soaked world when I come across the fact of a book that cannot reasonably be obtained. I'm not talking a specific edition or a shiny cover that's only available across the pond, I'm talking *any* copy. I'm so used to being able to snag something via Interlibrary loan or obtaining it via legal digital channels that when I run across something like Daniel Pinkwater's Norb, published in limited enough quantity that it just plain isn't in libraries, I find myself mildly flabbergasted that I can't just find a copy to look at. I mean, I could purchase one for $40.00 from Amazon, but how do I know that I want it? I'm just curious, damnit!

Anyway, my intrepid "Skin Horse" collaborator Shaenon Garrity lent me her copy of Norb while I was vacationing out West, and that particular itch was scratched to my satisfaction. Now I just need a friend who's a big fan of UK cartoonist David Whiteland, because I really very much want to get a glimpse at:

The Knot-Shop Man.

...But I don't want it enough to spend roughly $125.00 including overseas shipping. Pains me to admit, but it's the case. David Whiteland is my second-favorite cartoonist living, and he produces so catastrophically few books (Counting this as one book, a total of only three in the past decade). I hate that I'm going to miss one of them. But I guess I'm just not a $125.00-for-a-book level of fan. I have my limits.

So I ask of you: WHY DON'T ANY OF YOU ALREADY OWN A COPY OF THIS BOOK I CAN BORROW? I ask this because I am ungrateful, entitled, and cheap.
  • With you, it's books. With me, it's music scores. There are a number of Classical Music scores that I'd *LOVE* to get my grubby little mitts on but the price or a language barrier makes it difficult-to-impossible to obtain them. But I'm a patient man. Someday. Someday...
    • Shortly after writing this post, I bit the bullet, said "screw it, it's the holidays", and bought it. I will never realistically have the chance to see this book again once the run of 200 sells out. "Screw it, it's the holidays" is, of course, exactly what the economy wants us all to think.
      • Sometimes you need an excuse to treat yourself. At least you're giving your money to an artist you love rather than a giant faceless corporation selling molded plastic.
        • I love giving money more-or-less directly to the artist. The Internet has made that process a ton easier, thank goodness.
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