Yesterday I stopped by Franschhoek on my way back from Villiersdorp after dropping off the kids at their school camp. Found a small bookshop that was aptly named – Treasure House Books. It was in one of the few old buildings that have not been surrendered to the whims of so-called “developers” who relish introducing cold as aluminium structures. Stop me from ranting.
Back home – in Marikina – in October 2009, a week after the flood, I saw practically all my books had been thrown among the rotting belongings in front of my mother’s house. I remember having a copy of Rimbaud’s Drunken Boat from New Directions. Well that boat didn’t survive the floods of Ondoy obviously. I also had a copy of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago – unread – I was still preparing to meet up with the tragic Doctor one day.
Well in Franschhoek I chanced upon a copy of Rimbaud’s Illuminations, a 1957 third printing edition, still in remarkable state. A shelf down to it was Pasternak’s novel, a hard copy of the sixth impression, 1958 edition. And since no one was around to treat me, I treated myself to an early birthday gift. I feel like Gollum. It’s our birthday my precious!