On the Guardianâ€™s online books pages the other day there was a piece asking Which are the best books that never existed? I am grateful to the eagle-eyed Hooting Yard reader who alerted me to the fact that someone going by the name of â€œboiledonionsâ€ nominated How To Knit Knots While Remaining Invisible To Hurrying Brutes by Dobson. Much as I applaud the wisdom of the choice, I feel I should point out that this is, of course, a pamphlet rather than a book, and an out of print one to boot. I should also express my dismay that â€œboiledonionsâ€ seems to be claiming that it does not exist.
Those cavils aside, there is a wider point here, and one all readers should note, and note well, in your little Daily Hooting Yard Devotional Observations notebooks, and it is this: Dobson may be a figure of the last century, and he may be out of print, but wherever and whenever you can, as you roam the highways and byways of the interweb, you should take whatever opportunities as present themselves to sing his praises, and to make his work more widely known.
So well done, â€œboiledonionsâ€. You may even have won a prize.
He should have nominated “The Book of Gnats”, which we all know is a fictional work of fiction.
He would have gained extra points for nominating it through a chute.