Friday, July 25, 2008

The Book of My Enemy

Books,computers and cars all share one trait. Their value plummets quickly after their initial release. (Please buy a copy of Bad Predictions for $5.00!)

While seeing a book you labored over for months or years relegated to the remainder bin is an author's misfortune, Clive James notes it's kind of a kick when it's someone else's book.

In fact, he was inspired enough by his literary schadenfreude to write a poem about it in his new book Opal Sunset. The New York Times printed the entire poem, but here is an excerpt:

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am pleased.
In vast quantities it has been remaindered.
Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized
And sits in piles in a police warehouse,
My enemy’s much-praised effort sits in piles
In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs...