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July 26, 2018
Johnny Appleread
Colophon of Simon and Schuster.

Dear Reader,

The inventory of the library of Eric McLuhan has begun.

It’s been just two months since he died while we were in Bogotá.

Readers of this blog will know that I began it to document my journey inventorying Marshall McLuhan’s library. Now, as I set to work making an inventory of my father’s library, I will once again try to document some of that journey here.

It will be a bit different this time around. Marshall and Eric’s libraries are related but different. I also don’t have quite the freedom as I did the first time around – I’ll be doing this in what spare evenings I can devote, and I have to move more quickly. I had the luxury of a grant to lean on, now I don’t.

There is also an emotional element which will be tricky to navigate.

Circumstances being what they are, I begin.

[I actually have been spending time out there the last several weeks, organizing, cleaning, and getting ready to start the actual inventory.]


IMG_9323The first handful of books are mostly of Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock. The first book on the first shelf is ‘Last Leaves.’

‘Last Leaves’ appears to have been bought by my father either just before or just after I was born – I am not positive whether the writing indicated ‘Mar’ or ‘Nov’.

Like his father, Eric passed by his first given name in favour of his second. Marshall’s first name was Herbert, and Eric’s first name was Thomas.

Here is what the inventory looks like:

Eric's Library XL

It’s nothing fancy, but it should do the job. This one differs a little from the one I did for Marshall in that I am working off shelves, not from boxes – as the bulk of Marshall’s books were stored in boxes.

I had drawn up a map of the Scriptorium’s shelves years ago, and am using that as my guide. I am starting with the closest shelf to the door, and will work my way through the office, shelf by shelf.

I will also work systematically so that I can keep everything in order and in relation as dad organized it carefully (for the most part). This will also come in handy as the library is not expected to remain in that building – which is why I am beginning my inventory, and why I have time constraints.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I expect it will be full of interesting tidbits and unexpected turns.


Andrew McLuhan,

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