A recent acquisition

We’ve got four used bookstores in my small town, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, and last night, while we were waiting for our takeout pizza, the Hobgoblin and I wandered over to one of them. It’s a very odd bookstore, mainly because it’s kind of hard to get to the books. It’s a small room to begin with, and then every aisle is full of boxes, which block some of the books and make it hard to get at the others. I have no idea why this is. And I wonder how much money the owner makes with the place. My town really isn’t big enough to support four used bookstores, and this one doesn’t seem to get many customers as far as I can tell.

The owner is rather odd. Does that come with the territory? Are many used bookstore owners odd? I’d love to own a used bookstore myself, and I’m not sure if I’m odd enough. Maybe I am. It’s difficult to measure one’s own oddness. Although, truth be told, when I try to think about what makes this man odd, I can’t come up with particulars except for the boxes that block the books and the sense that he spends an awful lot of time alone in the store, most likely talking to himself. He seems caught up in a world all his own, and walking into the store feels a little bit like a personal invasion.

Anyway, he’s very chatty, and he remembered what I bought the last time I was in the store: two Elizabeth Taylor novels. I was impressed. I was also very happy to see that he had two more Elizabeth Taylor novels in stock, and I made sure to walk away with one of them: The Blush, which, I just this very moment discovered is not a novel, in fact, but a book of short stories.

It’s nice to know that there’s another Elizabeth Taylor book for sale within walking distance of my house, the book I left behind. I loved the two novels I read last summer, and I’ve decided it’s a very good thing to have an unread Elizabeth Taylor book in the house, ready for me when the mood strikes.

I wasn’t planning on buying any more books, but it’s rare that I walk into a used bookstore without buying something — and that’s not so much because I see things I can’t resist but because there’s something about the smallness and intimacy of used bookstores that makes me very aware of the owners, and I feel this urge to help them out and support the store. And it’s not hard to give in to this urge when the books are fairly inexpensive. So I find something or other I’ll want to read eventually and feel much better. There’s something I really don’t like about walking out of a used bookstore empty handed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Life, Reading

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s