Yummy tail sez the ourobouros
June 11, 2014 6:57 PM   Subscribe

Musings on, in the age of digitization and photocopies and the dying off of old collectors, what it means to be a book collector by Johan Kugelberg of Boo-Hooray (the guy who cataloged Afrika Bambaataa's collection for Cornell University, and I can't believe there isn't a Previously for that!)

What does one collect now?

Section titles:
1. The Over-The-Counter Culture Photobooks
2. Short-Run Pop
3. Inside/Outside of Academia
4. ABE vs. The Old-Fashioned Catalogue
5. Throwing It All Away Or Not Many Seemed To Want One So We Didn't Make Hardly Any
6. The Edition Doesn't Matter
7. Cultural Voyeurism
8. I Won't Pay For Punk Records
9. Too Rare!
10. Porno: Art innit?
11. Personal Cool: A Fiction
12. Wait a minute! This photocopy isn't old!
13. What next: Archival fun in the age of disposable historical documentation
14. I Stood Next To Hendrix On A Bus
15. When We're Young And When We're Old
16. The Birth of the Uncool
17. With Apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan

Kugelberg's also done stuff related to Jack Smith, Semina, Punk Magazine, Ed Wood (Previously), Paul Williams (Previously), Baron Corvo, Crass, etc.
posted by larrybob (4 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The gentleman clearly knows whereof he speaks, but I found the style rather wearing and had had enough by the point of the extended penis metaphor. It does make a nice complement though to Rex Sorgatz's recent essay on the nature of rarity in an age of digital ubiquity.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:03 PM on June 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

Some really good stuff, and cryptic, like thieves' cant.
posted by stbalbach at 9:50 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

That was deeply frustrating to read. It's as though he looked at every word he wrote and said "how could I say that more amusingly?" He can never say "educated" or "coincidence" without making them "edumacated" and "coinkydink," and every metaphor is flogged for all its funnysworth. It's like a humor column in a grade school newspaper.

His remarks on The Birth Of The Uncool resonate with my own collecting, though. The pre-IBM-PC world of microcomputers, like the TRS-80 or Apple 2, produced a number of comprehensive and well-written books on techie subjects. These were almost always self-published by enthusiastic amateurs, intended for the similarly initiated, and sold only through small ads in the hobbyist magazines. I buy these whenever I see them, which is not often, since few used booksellers are able to understand what they're looking at here. (One fine exception is Old Computer Books in Durham.)
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 12:41 AM on June 12, 2014

I think of the writing style as in the vein of Lester Bangs or his offspring at Forced Exposure.

The thought about the items that were produced around the time of one's birth resonates with me. It's amazing to listen Freakbeat (retrospectively named British psychedelic garage rock) like The Creation and wonder that it was made just around the time I was born.
posted by larrybob at 4:07 PM on June 12, 2014

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