“Weber is overrated. The only good thing he wrote was the Protestant Ethic. That really impacted society, how we thought about life. Every thing else was forgettable. He was a good writer, yeah, but never in the ranks of Durkheim and Marx. I would never place him in the ranks of Durkheim and Marx. Even Marx is overrated and gets cited way more often than he should be. Durkheim’s work is the most enduring. What do you think?”
“I belong to the Penguin Books Association in London. You know, in London, you can find a club for just about any thing. These Londoners are such hobby people. Do you know Penguin Books were the first to publish for the working class? They gave every one a chance to read any thing and made it affordable. I used to collect Penguin Books. Whatever you see in this library is only a portion. I have lots more at home.”
This is where he sits and reads over tea until some one pops into his bookstore. Also, if your conversation happens to bring up phrases and strings of words that are lyrics in classic songs, Bob will interrupt to sing you the song – complete with some serious eyebrow game and dancey footwork.
I spotted this postcard of Bob on one of the walls and jokingly asked if he was a famous person –
“Oh noooo. Some one came in here and asked if he could take a photo of me. I said, why not! And he came back to give me a copy. Do you want to take a photo of me too?”
Look at all these penguins. How are Bob and I not related?!
Before we left, I told Bob I felt he was very precious, and that it was amazing he knows just about every book and author at the back of his hand.
“Oh I’m just an ordinary guy, my love. Just an ordinary guy who loves to read and reads a lot.”
I guess he must like me too, since he gave me a pound off my purchase :)
Bob asked what I was doing in life.
“Digital anthropology? What the hell is that? There is only one age, my love – The old age. The new age is always in flux. There is no ‘new age’. You know Malinowski? Smart guy. With a title like Sex and Repression in Savage Society, who’s not gonna read that? What are you writing about? You need to read Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict. Not digital anthropology. Come on, love! Okay? Bye bye, love.”
Find Bob here.