I love used book stores. Well, any book store, but used ones are my favorite. To me, it’s akin to treasure hunting. Whenever I travel, I have my stops for shops that I make: second hand clothing, record store and used books. It’s a great way to investigate the culture of a particular locale. Clothes, music & literature paint a much better picture than touristy trade publications.
My love of all three also carry over into my day to day life as well. Part of it is my thriftiness, and part of it is the thrill of the hunt (especially in record stores). When you find that particular item you’ve been looking for since forever…its magical.
Part of my search is to create a great library of my own. Over the years and multiple moves, I lost several boxes of books, which is like dozens of tiny deaths. I’ve had people in my life who are not readers and they didn’t get how upsetting this loss was to me. “It’s just books, get over it. They collect dust.”
Um, no. They are journeys into new worlds. When I read, my journal is next to me and I jot down thoughts, ideas, new vocabulary words. I read mostly non fiction, but sometimes reality bites and I want to be transported somewhere else. I’m at a place in my life where reading affords me a mini vacation, since actually going on one is not practical.
When I visit bookstores, I usually don’t have a to buy list. Most of the time, I’m looking for something that jazzes me or piques my interest. Sometimes I get lucky, most of the time, I wind up picking up poetry or short story collections or an art book. The other day, I got lucky. I walked out with a bag full of books.
One little gem in the stack was Donorboy by Brendan Halpin. I’m not going to bore with a review, but I will highly recommend this book. It’s not the paragon of literary genius, but the author does have a nifty trick up his sleeve. All of the adult characters are named after 80’s musicians-from Husker Du, the Replacements, Violent Femmes and more.
It was a gimmick I could not say no to, especially since this was part of the soundtrack to my youth.