Monday, July 19, 2004

Got to come clean though....

... I started selling books on eBay again because Abebooks was sluggish. Discovered that while mystery and science fiction don't seem to move on eBay, Catholic books do. Got all into the strategizing and the cool descriptions to entice people to want these books which yes, are good solid reading - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, Thomas Merton books, Ascent of Mt. Carmel, Song of Bernadette, Bishop Fulton J Sheen books. These are always satisfying to sell, but the whole psychology of the eBay auction works on random reinforcement, the strongest reinforcers of all as I remember from my behavioral psychology. So now I anxiously/hopefully/greedily check My Ebay five times a day to see if people are bidding, if I've made more money, if my auctions have ended and nada zilch zip.  This is the kind of "action" one gets in gambling and in playing the stock market, although as far as the actual money goes it is peanuts. Which is maybe while I tolerate the behavior in myself, thinking what an innocuous form of entertainment. As indeed it may be. BUT MIGHT IT BE MORE INSIDIOUS, she thinks darkly, might it be one of those wonderfully innocent-seeming attractions that pull us off the main track and onto the little detours so beloved by inconstant humans? And is this neurosis or conscience voicing the misgivings now? Ah, Mr. Freud, what blessings and what curses you introduced into human culture.

2 comments:

SweatyNerd said...

It's okay just as long as you don't end up on the side of a bus... you know the ones with the gambling sayings on them: "Then I started using the kids lunch money."

I can just see yours: "I started filching books from the dentist, the doctor... even obsolete Windows 2.0 manuals."

Rae said...

I think it may already be past the point of no return. I have 200+ books at home sitting in boxes and piles, waiting to be listed, and I just agreed to pick up another 15 boxes of books tomorrow. But it's from an elderly aunt's lifetime collection! Even after the library folks took all they wanted, I'm sure I'll find some cool stuff. And usually when I pick up from an estate or someone who is moving into a smaller house, I get them after the real book dealers have been around. This time not so. And even real book dealers don't always have a good eye for Catholic stuff, especially the obscure text that shows up in translation.