For the record, yes, I do want whatever dictionary, reference, or associated text you may be interested in sending me. No need to ask, just put that shit in the mail addressed to the BLRL. I'm not saying it'll definitely find a home among the other books in the BLRL's collection, but I'll be more than happy to consider it. Further, if I don't want it, I'll be sure to pass it on to someone who might.
In addition to books (and letters with the promise of more books), people have also been sending me other cool things. One such gem that I received today was the following Simpsons-themed bookmark instructing people to "Read, man." This is not only good advice, but I am, of course, a fan of the show, so finding this in an envelope along with a letter and an order for The Ravens Way Review #1 was a pleasant surprise.
And speaking of The Ravens Way Review #1, in the introduction to that issue, I mentioned how strange it was that, here in the Digital Age, the thing that makes me feel connected to people most is not my computer, internet connection, or phone, but my PO Box. Here's the excerpt:
This is ... why, after all these years, I keep publishing. Even though my interactions with the zine world are brief and sporadic, I no longer feel like such a weirdo (or perhaps so alone in my weirdness) when I open the door to my PO Box and find it stuffed with envelopes, see a review of my work by an appreciative reader, or receive a letter in response to something I’ve written. It comforts me to know that, even though I don’t really know the folks who send me those envelopes, write those reviews, or pen those letters personally, I feel connected to them and to something bigger than myself in a way that’s unlike anything else. How strange that in the Digital Age, where connection is such an important aspect of everyday life, it would be my PO Box and not my internet provider that affords me the connection I appreciate most.
Admittedly, this comes off as a little sappy and maybe even maudlin when considered within the context of the larger piece, but it's sincere. And as today's trip to the PO Box proved, it is completely accurate. So, keep those books, letters, and whatever else you care to send me coming!
Note: Thanks to Fred A. for the copy of The Bride of Anguished English, which he was kind enough to send me a while ago. Thanks also to Davida B. for the copies of New Directions in the Study of Language, the Dictionary of Borrowed Words, and the Concise Dictionary of Twenty-Six Languages, which I received today, and to Kristie C. for the bookmark.