Friday, March 5, 2010



I had, originally, intended to start another blog, specifically related to book matters, in general, and the ongoing saga of my attempts to sell my library online through the Bookstall, in specific. But then I began to tackle the enormous task of simply uploading the thumbnails and brief information on each of 1200 books, and decided that the last thing I need is yet another excuse to avoid the tedium of pricing, measuring, weighing, verifying and cataloging. So I'll stick with the feature-column format in my usual blog, for now.

I've spent the last couple of long nights doing data entry (shades of my Tattered Cover days) and have managed to reach the mid-Cs - just to give you an idea of what's involved. It's a good thing I rather enjoy the task, and always have - I've often suspected I really should have been a librarian - the more tedious and daunting, the better. One of the best things about books is that, even in the midst of the most repetitive data-entry, there's always something to learn and inevitable surprises. Like anyone with an unhealthy obsession, I'm forever imagining the discovery of a rare and expensive treasure in among the dusty volumes. So, picture my surprise when I found that this:

Steve Reeves.jpg
Steve Reeves, Building the Classic Physique the Natural Way
Access Publishers Network, ISBN 9781885096050

is one of those rarities! It was bought on a lark, when a co-worker (female) in Small Package Receiving at the Tattered Cover (hereinafter called "TC Receiving") and I were joking about how our young lives had been affected by the Steve Reeves/Hercules sword & sandal epics, probably as we were receiving somebody's special-order for one of these or something similar. After some investigation, what I really found I wanted was the Steve Reeves Fan Club black silk baseball jacket, but it was much too expensive on a book-clerks salary. So I settled for the book. I do, in fact, have a small fixation on Steve, muscles, and the whole posing-strap phenomenon of the Fifties - it seems a fundamental part of my adolescent struggle to find and identify myself and, therefore, retains a special fondness.

As to why this paperback, in particular, has become valued at $148.99, I suspect it's a matter of a small original printing combined with a resurgence of interest in body-building in general and in Reeves as an historical figure, a remarkably handsome man, a survivor, and generally, it seems, a nice guy who made the best of what he was given and followed his dream to Cinecittá. I must confess I've hardly even cracked the book - fixations notwithstanding, exercise is something I tend to avoid. But I think it's a small price to pay for a fragment of the One True Hercules!

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