Friday, April 14, 2006

No Book Score This Time Around

Whenever I'm on a trip to these here parts in upstate New York, I enjoy going to a particular used bookstore. It's the sort where you never know what you will find. It's usually in these types of places I can add to my collections of books that have the words "flying saucers" (not UFOs) and "headhunters" (not about executive placement services) in the title.

This time I was dismayed to find out the store was shuttered a couple months ago.

In the past, in one memorable trip to that store, I got "Great Operatic Disasters," "The Strange Ways of Man: Rites and Rituals and Their Incredible Origins," and the first paperback edition (1964) of Philip K. Dick's "The Game Players of Titan." At a buck-fifty each, they'd have been a bargain at twice the price.
(*One review of "The Strange Ways of Man" I looked at included this: "This book deals with many customs throughout the world, such as hara-kiri in Japan, suttee or the immolation of widows in India, the binding of feet in 19th century China, the self-inflicted torture of the fakirs of India, the completely tattooed skin of the Papuans of Borneo, and a number of other customs, strange to our culture." Fair enough, but this smart-ass know-it-all (me) would like to point out that Papuans do not live on Borneo--they live on New Guinea. And it is the indigenous people of Borneo, not Papuans, who practice, with much skill and beauty, tattooing.)

So, as I was denied a chance for some real book hunting, I sought alternatives. The big thrift store's "Book Nook" room should have been labeled "Closet o' Crap." They didn't even have the ubiquitous "Sometimes God Has a Kid's Face" by the alleged pedophile Fr. Bruce Ritter, which I've seen at every thrift store, yard sale, and flea market I've ever patronized while Upstate. The village library's book sale section blew too. The big one, I might add. It was all irrationally normal.

Oh well, I've still got a day and half to do some scrounging. The weather's nice, and yard sale seaon is beginning. Maybe I'll hit gold.


Blogger Rinda Elliott said...

There is nothing in this world quite like those little bookstores. I'm sad for you over its loss.

I have an original Poe...

6:49 AM  
Blogger Johnny said...

Bought ata little bookstore? For no money?

10:05 AM  
Blogger Rinda Elliott said...

I paid no money for it and didn't find it in a bookstore.

My family was living in the Ozark mountains in this weird commune and I was twelve and bored out of my mind. One of the ladies gave me a box of Harlequin romances and in it were two old books. One was a Poe-- yellowed, tiny and falling apart. I need to find those. Haven't unpacked them yet, I think.

10:33 AM  
Blogger X. Dell said...

Wow, Rinda. Southeby's could be in your near future.

I agree. I'm saddened by the loss of used book stores that have to compete in the face of the Barnes & Nobles of the world. I used to frequent five that have now closed. There's still The Strand here in New York, however, and an excellent used bookstore out in Montclair, NJ.

I'm afraid, however, that soon there will be none left.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Da Gal said...

I adore small (or large) independent book sellers. There has been much press about a couple of the local stores as such. One of them I have recently stopped supporting - it just doesn't treat its supporters and local authors as it can afford to with simple kindness and appreciation.

I just love nosing around a good bookstore. Love it!

7:42 AM  

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