About Joseph F. Conte
I'm well-stocked in philosophy, art history, poetry and the classics, esp. the Heritage Press items, most of which are in near mint condition in very good slipcases (over 30 of these right now). Books are food for the soul. Chicago's eight-story memorial library has this inscription by Gwendolyn Brooks: "Books are meat and medicine and flame and flight and flower, steel, stitch, cloud and clout and drumbeats on the air." I wrote a quatrain expressing a similar thought: "Of all that the world contains, The world of books is mine; Of all that books contain, All the world is mine." My heart and soul are filled with high purpose, and this is why I am now a bookseller. In addition, I continue my life as a writer on philosophy who looks to the highest-minded Renaissance intellectuals for inspiration--models of every scholarly virtue. Many of my clients are an elite cadre of self-cultivated intellectuals out to have a positive influence on the world. They know that reading good books is like a conversation with the noblest people of past centuries; that eloquence has incomparable power and beauty; that writings on morals contain many lessons and exhortations to virtue; that poetry has a ravishing delicacy and sweetness. "I'd rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books than a king who did not love reading," said Macauley. But to end on a lighter note, here is my favorite bookseller's joke: After she woke up, a woman told her husband, "I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace for Valentine's Day. What do you think it means?" "You'll know tonight," he said. That evening, the man came home with a package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it - to find a book entitled, "The Meaning of Dreams."
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