I’m currently doing some research for Dr. Faustus into the so-called “shudder pulps” of the 1930s, and in the process I came across this anecdote which illustrates the danger of mixing up one’s vices:

Since dealers were allowed into the huckster room to set up early, I used to buy a table just to get into the room, not to sell anything but to get a chance to buy pulps before the other collectors. I learned right away that I had to arrive early at least the day before the start of the convention. More than once I ended up spending all my money before the show even started, usually buying pulps in hotel rooms.

One collector thought he would beat me at my own game and arrived at the convention hotel several days before my arrival. However his plans failed when he made the mistake of carrying on a torrid affair with one of the room maids. She took him for all his money and again proved that you should not combine your vices (pulps and sex), and that women and pulps just do not mix.

I remember laughing and asking him why on earth would you go to a book convention and get distracted by women. Book collecting is one of the very strongest addictions and no other vice can compare to it.

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