A weblog called Books Do Furnish A Room
See more » Richard Evans Lee
Most of my weblogs have an entries explaining "Where'd you get the name of the weblog from?" But never this weblog.
Years ago I was visiting Savannah. As always when back home, a town without decent bookshops I went to the Savannah Public Library (bless Andrew Carnegie). I can't remember if I picked up Evelyn Waugh's Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold (very strongly recommended) on a whim or from some other reading.
Delighted with Waugh, reading about him, soon I was looking for the friend of his youth, Anthony Powell. The first book I found was Books Do Furnish A Room. Sorrowfully I discovered it was a very late book in a series called "The Dance to the Music of Time." The library didn't have the earlier volumes and it wouldn't be until I went up to Atlanta to visit my friend Ariel that I found the earlier books. They were packaged in an awful mass market omnibus format with three books to a volume (the inner margins were so damned narrow I had to all but break the books to read them).
Several years pass and I'm living in Chapel Hill, NC. I'm working for at Keith & Martin (now simply called The Bookshop, best used bookshop in RTP). Like many another I decide that I could open my own. Chapel Hill seems overcrowded so we decide to open in Durham where there's only the awful Book Exchange (books arranged by publisher).
Wanting our name to advertise everything we were carrying the shop is originally called Books/Records/Comics, sad, eh? Shortly thereafter we got tired of hearing people express surprise that a store that sells comic books also sold good books, damn, scholarly and literary books (in the shop's original configuration the first section you saw was literary criticism).
We really needed a new name. The world is overstocked with Reader's Nooks and Book Corners. Since we sell hardcovers we couldn't steal Prometheus Paperbound. Anthony Powell with his aloof elegance proved a surprisingly sympathetic author.
So we became Books Do Furnish A Room.
Reusing it for this weblog saved time and effort