Monday, November 8, 2010

Benchley on Bookstores

Today is National Bookstore Day. Go out and buy a book.

Then again, consider what Dorothy Parker wrote about Benchley and his distaste for bookstores:

"The late Robert Benchley, rest his soul, could scarcely bear to go into a bookshop. His was not a case of so widely shared an affliction as claustrophobia; his trouble came from a great and grueling compassion. It was no joy to him to see the lines and tiers of shining volumes, for as he looked there would crash over him, like a mighty wave, a vision of every one of the authors of every one of those books saying to himself as he finished his opus, 'There - I've done it! I have written the book. Now it and I are famous forever.' Long after Mr. Benchley had rushed out of the shop, he would be racked with pity for poor human dreams. Eventually, he never went anywhere near a bookshop. If he wanted something to read, he either borrowed it or sent for it by mail."