Sunday, January 18, 2015


Biblioholics Anonymous

Dear Mike,

"My name is Eric and I’m a biblioholic." When I was 22 I bought a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica and indebted myself for 10 years. The Virgil Encyclopedia was the last reckless binge. The Loeb Classical Library? Yes, all of them, thanks, and I mean all of them, every last one. Don't care what they cost, I'll have them. The New Pauly? Yes, the lot, thanks. Children in rags and without a crust? Divorce and bankruptcy? Tough luck.

No, I've stopped. I haven't bought a book since yesterday. Went to the newsagent's kiosk this morning ostensibly to buy a paper. He usually has a rack of secondhand books, of the sort that used to be sold with newspapers. Where else can a decent man buy a book on a Sunday? With the heavy rain today there were none on display, which didn't stop me peering under the plastic covers. No fix today. Just a bloody newspaper. I could have killed him.

Eric [Thomson]

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