DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Marcel Proust On Reading

A while ago the 0resident of the United States unleashed a middle-of-the-night Tweet storm attacking the company Amazon, claiming it was getting favorable treatment from the U.S. Postal Service. As is so often the case, he was mistaken (or fibbing for effect).

Most of my online shopping is with Amazon. Here’s a recent example.

Back in June in Paris, I had purchased a copy of “Sur la lecture” (“On Reading”). It’s a short book by my favorite writer, Marcel Proust, that I didn’t have in my library. I found it while browsing at the Galignani Bookstore on the Rue de Rivoli, near the hotel where my traveling companion, Paul Kuhns, and I were staying.

I minored in French at the college level, but at my age, that language no longer flows trippingly off my tongue. I can still read it reasonably well, but this is Proust after all. Using himself as an example in the book, he writes in his usual subtle way about the importance of reading, especially for children.

So I had some difficulty grasping all of the book’s 62 pages in French. And that’s where Amazon came into play.

Turns out the main site did not have an English translation, but its affiliated “market place” service found a well-worn used copy in English by Jean Autret and William Burford, published in Great Britain 47 years ago.

Not long after it arrived, I received a follow up e-mail from Amazon, asking me to evaluate the condition of the book and the quality of the service I had received from its partner vendor.

So how do you like those apples, Trumper?

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