An Eye for the Old

“We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!” 

-John Waters

Not that I’m trying, but I’ve pretty much got that covered, John.

My bookshelf is something I’m proud of, not least of which is because I’ve read probably 80% of the books lining the damn thing.

It’s an ongoing collection and a lifelong pastime; adding to the trinkets, tomes, antiques, and oddities that I deem worthy of acquiring.

I stumbled upon this particular beauty in an import goods store on the Oregon Coast. It was being used as a display case, and I noticed the $600 price tag had been cut three times, resulting in a $200 bargain. I talked it down to $175. Haggling isn’t so hard if you’ve got the right attitude. In this case, a bit of friendliness went a long way. The same rules don’t apply in other countries. In Italy, for instance, you have to give something of a cold-shoulder to lower the price to something closer to reasonable. The mark-up of street goods is astonishing there.

My dream home is somethin’ straight outta the film Tomb Raider; complete with library, telescope, motorbike, and a badass training robot I get to fight.

You see, I’ve got something of an eye when it comes to antiques and exotic goods. No doubt due to my mother taking me to antique stores as a child. She tells me that upon entering the premises, every shop owner and old lady would cast an uncertain eye as I wandered around, exploring.

But then i’d ask questions, wanting to know where things came from, how old they were, how much they were, as if I, a six year old, were a prospective buyer.

By the end of our visit, I had them practically inviting us to dinner.

It’s a double edged sword; dissuading me from buying tourist trinkets and yet imploring me to buy that shiny, strange, never-seen-one-of-those-before items that end up costing four times as much as the Hello Kitty commemorative cup.

I, unfortunately, do not have the unlimited funds of Lara Croft.

What I do have is the sense for what is unique and what is crap.

How ironic life is.

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