So my bestie Lena and I went second-hand book shopping on Saturday. It was all kinds of awesome. We started on Beaumont street because it is close to my house and has three such stores all in close proximity, then headed to Darby St to the excellent Cooks Hill Book Store where we met Nomes, then to the Three Monkeys for frappes (I got the Seabreeze. Reminded me of Lorne from Angel, although his were alcofrolic).
Anyway, nerd that I am, I took a list of books I wanted to find, found four of them and bought three randoms, so seven books all up, totalling $35 which is about the price of one book at Borders these days.
These are the books I bought, in the order they currently sit on my new bookshelf:
1. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
My dad has trying to get me to read this book for years, and I’m not sure why I haven’t yet as I love Geraldine Brooks. I read her "People of the Book" and although I had a few minor issues with it, I did really enjoy it. What’s more, Brooks is an Australian ex-journo who worked as a foreign correspondant for the Wall Street Journal for years before changing tact and becoming a novelist. If you know me you will understand why this appeals. I was also looking for her novel "March" which is about the father from Little Women but I didn’t find it anywhere. Next time.
2. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
(Featuring the cover from the copy I now own). Yes, I know it is crazy that I don’t already own this book. I think the reason is that it was among the books my parents bought for us kids and I didn’t feel right taking it with me when I left home. I thought it was time I get a copy of my own. You may have noticed I didn’t buy The Magician’s Nephew first. I was taking the advice of a fan of the books. I can’t wait to re-read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as I believe everything is better when it’s set on a boat, but I didn’t actually find a copy of this book this time through. Another reason I decided it was time to buy the books for myself is because in second semester of this year I’m taking a course on Children’s Literature! You have no idea how excited this makes me. I didn’t realise I had an extra elective available and was worried about finding a course to fit my majors that also fit my work schedule but this one is just perfect!
3. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Because I’ve heard so many amazing things about it that I thought it was time I get in on the action
4. The Poet by Michael Connelly
Some of you may know what a crime fix I’ve had lately, what with writing a novel that kinda-sorta fits the genre. This is a highly regarded novel by a very famous crime novelist (and ex-journo) about a journalist trying to solve his brother’s murder. Looks awesome.
5. A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
With a series this popular and long-running ("U is for Undertow" just came out last year) it would be a crime not to have a taste. Ugh, sorry. Too much "dad humour" going around these days. Looks like it’s catching.
6. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
(This is the cover of the copy I bought. It was published the year I was born. I’m imagining it’s romantic history and many loving owners as we speak). One of my favourite books of all time. Also can’t believe I don’t already own a copy. I’ve been a library girl for way too long.
7. The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
When I was younger one of my absolute favourite books was Bloomability by Sharon Creech about a girl who was sent to an international boarding school in Switzerland. Switzerland has been on my ‘absolutely must visit’ list ever since. I found this in the last bookstore we went to for a dollar and I couldn’t pass it up. Refer to above theory on everything being better when set on a boat. Sharon Creech. On a boat. The heart flutters.
I LOVE second hand bookstores, maybe more than normal bookstores. They are full of such mystery – you never know what little gem you are going to find, or where that book in your hands has travelled. I feel like classic books especially should have a "read" look about them, as if this can somehow portray their amazing history and the many people who have read and loved them in the past.
But second-hand bookstores are also slightly sad, especially when you find really special books with inscriptions in the cover like "Happy Birthday Emily, love from your grandparents, 2003". I feel like I want to take every one of these orphaned books home and love them like they should be loved. Lucky for Michael I am able to (mostly) restrain my bibliophilic tendencies.
When choosing books I looked for ones that I would still want on my shelf in 20 odd years, ones I would be proud to pass on to my children.
I’ve already started formulating "Book List Number Two" for my next journey to the second hand bookstore.