I’ve wandered into a couple of bookstores lately and snapped up some nifty used books. I’ve heard a number of people say they never buy used books for fear of getting something reeking of cigarette smoke or with sticky pages and writing in the margins. Really? Has that ever happened to you? Never happened to me — I love the idea that the book comes to me with some history, that someone loved it before I bought it, that maybe they had it in their suitcase on a trip to Marrakesh, or lost it in Grand Central Station, or read it to their lover on a stormy night in Colorado. (I’ve never suffered from a lack of imagination!) Anyway, here are my latest used book finds!
First, from a bookstore in Minneapolis that was having a moving sale, The Lives of Shadows: An Illustrated Novel by Barbara Hodgson. I picked this up for $1 and it looks terrific:
Set in Damascus between 1914 and 1945, The Lives of Shadows tells the story of Julian Beaufort, a young man who leaves England in his youth to travel through the Middle East, where he finds and falls in love with Bait Katib, an ancient house with its history written on its walls. The owners, an older couple and their soon-to-be-wed daughter, take him in, treat him like a son and eventually turn the house over to him. He has pledged to continue writing the life of the house on the wall.
Next, from Last Exit Books in Kent, OH, two great finds while I was shopping yesterday with my friend, Tammy. The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes begins with two curious opening lines: Be warned. This book has no literary merit whatsoever. It is the story of conjurer and unlikely detective Edward Moon and this hulking sidekick, known only as The Somnambulist. I hope to fit this into the schedule soon!
Last, I picked up The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore. I love Christopher Moore. The title made me laugh. How could I not buy it?
It’s not like I need more books and yet, I can’t resist them when I see them, and I can’t resist supporting my local bookstores. See! Burying myself in books is practically a public service.
(Don’t you love the Used Books pic above? I borrowed it from Kimberley Hannaman Taylor and her Cape Cod photos.)