This turned out to be a very literary weekend, although by “literary” I don’t mean that I read much. I haven’t had much time for that. First, on Friday I got to walk by Emily Dickinson’s house (picture here), since I was in the area for a work conference, and then I browsed in one of Amherst’s bookstores, just up the street.
And then on Saturday, Hobgoblin and I met up with She Knits and Suitcase of Courage to go on a three-state bookstore tour. We started off meeting for breakfast at the Wandering Moose Cafe in West Cornwall, Connecticut (Suitcase of Courage knows all the great places to get breakfast), and then we headed a block or so up the road to Barbara Farnsworth’s bookstore. It’s a charming two-story shop with a great fiction section, where I spent most of my time. I didn’t buy anything there, but it’s not because there weren’t good possibilities. Sometimes it just takes me a while to figure out what I’m in the mood for.
Then we drove up to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, home of Yellow House Books, where we spent another happy hour or so. This shop is smaller than Barbara Farnsworth’s, but it also has a great selection, and I snapped up The Essays of Virginia Woolf, Volume 1. I own volume 3 already, so of course I need all the others. I’ll be on the lookout for a nice copy of volume 2 next.
Then, after lunch, we drove over to Hillsdale, New York, to visit Rodgers Book Barn, a shop that’s been a favorite of mine for many years. The store is out in the middle of upstate New York farm country, and you have to drive past barns and on gravel roads to get there, which is all part of the fun. And they have a great selection of books, priced inexpensively. I was fully into shopping mode by that time, and came away with four books (Hobgoblin found ten!). I got Darkmans by Nicola Barker, which has been on my mind to read for a while because it’s long and experimental, and I’m ready to read a long, experimental novel written by a woman instead of the ones you always hear about written by men. I like the ones by men too, but the ones by women don’t get the same attention.
I also picked up another Mary McCarthy novel, Cannibals and Missionaries, for when I next get in a Mary McCarthy mood, which happens fairly regularly. The last two are Viragos, A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor, and Year Before Last by Kay Boyle. Taylor is a favorite of mine, but Boyle is someone new I’m interested in learning more about.
After a couple hours in the Book Barn, it was time to head home to take care of Muttboy — and to read our books, of course. And that’s exactly what I need to go do now.