This isn’t a review so much as a story about this book.
I think I’m the first person to ever review this The Structure of Bifocal Distance by John Dingby on Goodreads/ever which is pretty cool so I feel like I should explain how I came to read this obscure book:
I found it on a free books shelf at my college a little over a year ago and just thought it was a cool poetry book to grab. I’m always fascinated by poetry collections since they are usually brief and can either be weird or profound to me.
I then lost this book amongst the many unread books plaguing my shelves and then found it and then forgot about it until about 2 days ago when I rediscovered it on the back of one of my bookshelves while I was organizing and cataloguing my books.
I figured “it’s only like 50 pages? Let’s just read it!” And so I did.
Some poems were beautiful but most were wacky and confusing, but the poet is a “self-confessed surrealist” according to the back of the book so what was I really expecting? I’m sure a lot of these poems had deeper meanings that I was just not comprehending and also this book was published in 1974 so there were also probably many references that went right over my head as well...
What really fascinated me about this book is that the back cover has a price tag/sticker that says it was £1.25P and the back cover says “For copyright reasons this edition is not for sale in the USA.” My best guess is that this book was probably purchased in England somewhere? But I wonder how it traveled from there to my house in New York?
I guess my whole point to this is that books not only tell a story in that they are actual stories being written down, but also in the sense that each book has come from someone and traveled a long way to get to a specific person.
I don’t know who the original owner of this book was or how it ended up in the U.S. let alone my college campus in New York but I know that even if this book was only a three star read for me, it’s still a pretty special book!
Edit: I found this link that's an interview with the author that lent some insight as to how the boo might have ended up in New York...
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!