I'm sitting looking out over the city, with two piles of books in front of me, books that I acquired in Melbourne. It worries me to think how much I've spent, but I think I ought tote it up:
- Compton Mackenzie, Sinister Street [a good novel that a certain bishop first lent me a copy of many years ago] - $7;
- Ordo 2009 [Australian, for the Ordinary Form] - $10;
- The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Baronius Press, with lots of misprints about which I'll blog!] - $42.95;
- Stephen Wang, A Way of Life for Young Catholics - $6.95;
- The Coronation Service Westminster Abbey 12 May 1937 - a gift;
- Christopher Knetes, Service for the Consecration of an Eastern Orthodox Church (Sydney, 1927) - $14;
- The Essential Erasmus - $7.50;
- W.H.C. Frend, Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church - $6;
- Butler's Lives of the Saints, Volume XII (December) [handsomely bound, with an inscription dated 1894] - $30;
- Irma Zaleski, The Way of Repentance - $8 (plus another copy given to a friend);
- Richard Harries, Art and the Beauty of God - $12;
- George Maloney, Mary: The Womb of God - $7;
- Frederick Faber, The Blessed Sacrament or the Works and Ways of God (London, 1856) [I'll have to get this book seen to: the front cover is loose; the inside page, also loose, has the inscription "Presented to his Grace the Archbishop by his grateful and dutiful Daughters of Subiaco Feast of the Dolours of the Bd Virgin April 15th 1859" - and there is also a stamp in the book "Library Sydney Society of Jesus", which makes me surmise that this book was presented to Archbishop by the religious sisters he founded, and later was given to the Jesuit Fathers] - 50¢;
- Adam Cooper, Life in the Flesh: An Anti-Gnostic Spiritual Philosophy - $99 [I had to buy it, especially as this was its sale price at the booklaunch, a substantial discount!];
- St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiæ, Volume 40 (2æ2æ. 92-100): Superstition and Irreverence [part of the prized Gilby Summa] - $14;
- Lancelot Sheppard, Barbe Acarie: Wife and Mystic [about Bl Mary of the Incarnation, O.C.D.] - $10;
- Denis Murphy, The Sacristan's Manual (London, 1950) - a gift;
- St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiæ, Volume 9 (1a. 50-64): Angels [another part of the prized Gilby Summa*] - $20;
- St Alphonsus Liguori, The History of Heresies and Their Refutation (Dublin, 1847) - $7;
- Stainer, The Crucifixion [full music edition of this sacred oratorio, the CD of which I already have] - $20;
- The National Eucharistic Congress, Melbourne 1934 [includes photograph of the final Eucharistic Benediction given outdoors to a crowd of over half a million] - $20;
- The Spectator, 17 January 2009 [Australian edition; I read this at the airport and while flying home] - $6.95.
[* The same bookshop had volumes VIII and X also, but I'm not so interested at present in the niceties of Creation ex nihilo nor in Cosmogony according to the classic schema of the Hexaëmeron, the work of the Six Days, plus I had a feeling that I was getting low on money.]
Well, there's $347.85 spent! - but on 22 books and suchlike; none of which, barring Dr Cooper's learned work, and to a lesser extent that Baronius Press Little Office, was as dear as a new book ordinarily is these days; so the average cost was only about $16 each. Now, to reading...
It's a worry, being a bibliophile - and to think that Camberwell Books were closed, and I didn't manage to find my way back to a good bookshop in Nicholson Street late yesterday, nor did I visit the John XXIII Fellowship Co-op (if it still exists).
Of making many books there is no end - Ecclesiastes xii, 12.
I must also record special thanks to my friend, and sometime lecturer and employer, Dr Rowland at the J.P. II Institute, who kindly gave me some photocopies of recent articles she's written: "A Catholic Appropriation of Romantic Themes" in How Balthasar Changed My Mind (pp. 191-208); "Variations on the Theme of Christian Hope in the Work of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI" in Communio 35 (Summer 2008), pp. 200-220; and "Una Fragile Icona: L'Amore tra Uomo e Donna" in Il Logos dell'Agape (pp. 89-98) - Tracey very flatteringly said, Well, you can read Latin, so ditto for Italian! Gulp.
On an allied note, I've also been looking about in antique shops here and just recently in Melbourne for a nice standing metal crucifix, of the sort one used to find on sacristy benches, scholars' desks, and altars - but where now to find one?