Earlier this year I was looking for a book by activist Edward Abbey, and I stumbled upon Aeropagitica Books in Clintonville. The musty old store was one of those charming little dives that made you want to read Shakespeare aloud and discuss literature's dogged questions on the well-worn couch in the front of the shop. The helpful employee thought I had asked for a tome by Edward Gorey and he excitedly took me to a stack of the artist's books that they had displayed. It was as if I was looking for silver and found gold. I love Edward Gorey's macabre little characters and plot lines. He was a predecessor for the Tim Burton aesthetic.

Anyway, 14 of the famous illustrator's fur coats, which were iconic of him just as much as his black and white drawings, are going up for saleThursday at Bloomsbury Auctions. I imagine they are way out of any of our holiday gift budgets, but here are some details. (Much more affordable and only slightly less awesome is Gorey's collaborative effort with author John Updike "The Twelve Terrors of Christmas." I suggest adding this to your holiday book collection. Now.)

Seeing Gorey's name in the news was nice. I had shoved him to the back of my brain's shelves, as I had with Aeropagitica. I'm sorry to say the cute bookstore has since joined the roll call of a bad economy's victims. I wonder what happened to all those books?