Adventures in Reading


More Books Please!

Saturday evening resulted in an impromptu trip to a used bookstore. Between my desire to trade in a dust-collecting stack of unwanted books and my struggle to stay awake (a result of the time change and an erratic work schedule), I traversed dark country roads to visit one of the few used bookstores in my area. I am now the proud owner of: Eudora Welty’s The Collected Stories, Jack London’s Short Stories, Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, Brendan O’Carroll’s The Chisellers, and Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy. Not too shabby, and in addition I have been considering splurging for some hard to find but must haves (in my opinion) on Amazon.

Lately I have been wondering how people select books to read. (How do you select yours?) I know I regularly refer to my “stack” but it is more metaphysical than actual. In the lower right corned of my blog I have listed titles that I would love to read, but I admittedly seldom get around to selecting one of them. There are far too many books staring me in the face and brushing against my fingers for me to remember a list I have made. However, I was considering doing a monthly dice roll, which will ideally help me work through these faceless books I have listed.

On a reading note, I have been struggling through Emma. I was scanning a literary criticism of Austen and one of the chapters was entitled “Emma – A Character Only Jane Austen Could Love,” or something similar but I am beginning to see the point of this statement. Emma certainly has endearing moments, but I am either not interestered at the moment or the book is uninteresting, and considering it is Austen I doubt the latter is true.



Thrift Store Finds

Much to my surprise I arrived home the other day and my partner had picked up eight books for $2 at the thrift store. I seldom shop for books at the thrift store (despite the low cost) as I never seem to find anything worth while. Most used stores will have a decent array of trashy romance novels and beach read mysteries, but seldom have I found anything I felt an urge to purchase. Two of the finds in particular brightened my day: Nora a biography of Nora Joyce (James Joyce’s wife) and A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (a book I have always wanted, but I have a great aversion to the most recent cover). 

When I was younger I always demanded new books and delved into and enjoyed the crisp and clean pages. Unfortunately, my crush on things new lasted into my freshman year at college where I found myself a good deal poorer after purchasing new textbooks. Ah, the follies of youth. Recently, however, I have found myself at the complete opposite end of the new and used book spectrum as the well-loved and inexpensive books second hand stores promise have wiggled their way into my heart. Additionally, I am also fascinated with the lasting possibilities of books versus other print (i.e. newspapers, magazines) publications.

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