Alright, so yesterday I found an amazing book on a free books pile. A free books pile in itself is a beautiful thing, and when there's a book in there that looks interesting, it's just an added bonus. I've come across a couple of these books; sometimes I just take it because I like the cover (see: five paperbacks of, like, academic journal bibliographies swiped from a geography department in Canada, and an issue of American Quarterly with a picture of a woman wearing a gas mask while pushing her child in a stroller, also be-gas masked), while other times it's an actual book that I read and enjoy (like the memoirs of some blind guy on how being blind doesn't preclude you from being a normal guy).
The book I got yesterday was an encyclopedia of religion. Yes, you can open the book and find entries on faith, necromancy, and every kind of protestantism there was in 1945. I was standing there next to the book pile, gloating over my good fortune in finding this gem, when our Jane Austen-loving male friend came up and asked what I was reading. I showed him the book with glee, and he totally confirmed my good taste. Thank goodness, because on other occasions when I have been excited about things I have been shut down by people who do not understand the coolness! of the things! He got excited about the book and asked me to look up a few things, and expressed his jealousy that I got to it first.
Just as we were about to part, me going back to work and he going back to work on his comps, he asked in passing the name of the compiler. The best part! This man's name was Vergilius Ferm. If we ever had any doubt as to the legitimacy or accuracy of the book, or even the sheer wonder of the book, the name on the spine would be an instant reassurance. Vergilius Ferm. The stamp of authority. Vergilius Ferm! Before we parted, the Austenite made me promise that my firstborn son (or even my firstborn daughter) would be named Vergilius Ferm.