Odds and ends

  • I bought two books this past weekend at one of the used book stores in my small town, which has four of them. As far as I can tell, this is an awful lot for a town this size. This, as you can imagine, is great fun! And all are within walking distance of my house. One specializes in rare books, but has a good collection of paperbacks too, another is exclusively paperbacks, a third is new and sells overstock from publishers, and the fourth one I haven’t checked out yet (shame on me!). Inspired by Jane Smiley’s book, I got Lady Murasaki’s Tale of Genji, and it’s a two-volume set that came with its own box. The set was too cute to resist. And the other is Balzac’s novel Cousin Bette. I haven’t read any Balzac yet, so, although I don’t think I will get to it soon, I’m happy to have it on hand for when the time is right.
  • I also picked up a copy of Pankaj Mishra’s nonfiction book An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World from the library. So far I have mixed feelings about it, but I’ll save those for a review when I’m finished. I usually like this type of book very much, though — a mix of a lot of genres, in this case personal essay/autobiography, religious and social history, and philosophy.
  • It’s a beautiful day, and I was able to find time for a great bike ride! It feels like spring is finally arriving; it was sunny and in the low 60s.

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