“On Reading” with Brandi Thomas

In the agrarian-archetypal wheel of the zodiac, the sixth sign is an emblem of harvest, technique, and awareness. This is dutiful Virgo, whose virginity is not of innocence and purity but, somewhat paradoxically, wisdom and self-sufficiency. The virgin birth, for example, is birth nevertheless, made all the more powerful by the mother's integrity or entirety:… Continue reading “On Reading” with Brandi Thomas

“On Reading” with Robin Walter

The word 'excitement' has its origins in the mid-14th century Latin excitare, the root of which is ciere (PIE *keie-), meaning "to set in motion." One gets the sense of something whirring internally, drawn into the greater company that only ex- "outness" can afford. On my way to talk to Robin—Perelandra's reader in residence last… Continue reading “On Reading” with Robin Walter

“On Reading” with John Flynn

In his introduction to The Outline of History, H. G. Wells wonders at the personal workings of political motivation: “Indeed, what are a man's political activities but the expression in action of his ideas of the past?” Reassured by Wells's open humility—the sense in which he determines to work within his means, as a writer—I… Continue reading “On Reading” with John Flynn

“On Reading” with Jason Hardung

In Wolverine Farm's Matter Journal 13: Edward Abbey, Steven Schwartz speaks to a brief period in which he was Ed Abbey's student. (For those unfamiliar with Abbey's legacy, here's a sketch: He criticized the corporate machinations of made-in-America modernity; he reveled in wild- and wilderness; he wrote Desert Solitaire and The Monkey Wrench Gang; he… Continue reading “On Reading” with Jason Hardung

“On Reading” with Julia Goolsby

Despite placing various clauses of limitation on my internet usage of late, I understand that the term "meta" is having a technocratic moment. And because "meta" is indeed a term—a part of language—and not yet a technologically defined experience (as the chief operating officer would have it), I submit that our interest in "meta" may… Continue reading “On Reading” with Julia Goolsby

“On Reading” with Rico Lighthouse

The book, like any technology, has motives both written and underwritten. But it is unique in its ability to foster contemplation—sub-motivation, ur-motivation, super-motivation—or what Aquinas would call the return of consciousness to itself. The fixity of the printed sign or image, the friction of the grain, the sequence of the page—these are allies of an… Continue reading “On Reading” with Rico Lighthouse

On genre, disorientation, and discovery

We're not sure exactly how many titles inhabit Perelandra at a given moment—the number hovers around 1,500—but it's safe to say that our collection is fairly small (compared to most bookstores). Small poses interesting challenges for a brick-and-mortar shop whose trade is premised on intellectual/emotional expansion. But this begs the question: what does it really… Continue reading On genre, disorientation, and discovery

Surviving the capital valuation of books

We had sorted through a wonderful donation of mostly theological and anthropological titles, and the next order of business was to place a dollar value on each. Soon, they'd burrow into the shelves and keep warm among their peers. But I felt typically uneasy about getting started. I felt uneasy because "pricing" is kind of… Continue reading Surviving the capital valuation of books