Currently Reading

  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
  • Patience & Fortitude by Nicholas A Basbanes
  • Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman
  • a People's History of the United States: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn

Friday, August 7, 2009

We've Moved!

Thats right, the blog has moved and had a name change. Come join me at and check out Life in the Stacks! See you there!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Recent Serious

What’s the most serious book you’ve read recently?
(I figure it’s easier than asking your most serious boook ever, because, well, it’s recent!)

This is rather difficult as I read significantly less fiction than I should. As you can tell from "Currently Reading" at the top of the page, all four books I'm reading at the moment are non-fiction. However, if I had to choose one, I'd probably have to say a People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, or maybe the Joseph Smith Biography. Patience and Fortitude is a good read, but its rather fluffy. Charing Cross Road is an epistolary and rather laugh out loud funny, think female Lewis Black Chewing out a British Bookseller, and you've got the basic idea. The Joseph Smith biography, I'm obviously kind of speechless on. The thing has its ups and downs, definitely has some "What the..." moments, but overall its pretty dry and boring. Zinn's book is extremely interesting in approach and ideas, but it feels like walking through thick mud at times, which is why in the end, it ties with the Smith biography. I just can't decide.

More Bookstores Today

Just got back from Magus Books and the University of Washington bookstore. Picked up a copy of Q's Legacy from the UW store I had them transfer from another branch. It wasn't the edition I was wanting, but I'm gonna keep it anyway. Still going to find a twin to 84 Charing Cross Road, but I figure there's no harm in having more than one edition, which, I guess says something about me as a bibliophile. What can I say, I like the book.

Found a copy of Tales of Beedle the Bard for $2, didn't buy it though. My girlfriend said something about having a copy she'd be willing to give me, although the connection was horrid, so I'm not quite sure if I heard her right, I hope so. Its a measly $2, but then again I'm not exactly rolling in money at them moment.

Which brings me to Easton Press. DEAR GOD IS THIS LOVELY AFFORDABLE BOOK PORN OR WHAT! Check out to see what I mean. They've got sets of Chronicles of Narnia and the Dark is Rising, VERY NICE COPIES, that I've just gotta have. I read Narnia as a little kid to the point that one of the books split in half. Also read the Dark is Rising, but didn't know until recently that there was a whole series. Also found a two volume set of the writings of His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama. Not sure they're the complete writings though, or they'd have to be pretty darn thick to include all the books he's written. Either way I wants it. It should be rather obvious by now that I'm a total bibliophile, infact, I hope to end up like the guy that writes Dr Johnson's Compendium of Fantastic, Whimsical, and Weird Books: This is quite possibly one of the most awesome book blogs I've ever seen, and I highly recommend it.

Title Revamp

After having kind of a blah title for the longest time, I've been thinking about renaming the blog. I mean, seriously, "A Reading Life" just doesn't really pull you in. So, any ideas, suggestions, etc, feel free to post in comments and I'll take 'em into consideration.

Book Buying Habits of the Poor and Bibliophilic

Well, poor is a relative term, I get $200 a month for expenses from my parents while I'm in college (dear God I hope she doesn't read this blog!) and most of it goes to going out with friends in one form or another (movies, DVD rentals, restaurants, etc) but an overwhelming majority of that money goes to books. Books seem to multiply in my dorm room and bedroom at home like unto paper rabbits, its nuts.

When I'm home, I have about a half dozen or so bookstores I'll visit about once a week, including used, independents, and B&N. *shivers with disgust* Now, I should probably mention the fact that I'm extremely picky about Barnes & Noble. I'll buy magazines from them, and occasionally a book, there are some gems, but most of their stuff is either BS, or I can get cheaper on the internet, even with their joke of a member's discount, which only really serves to take care of sales tax. Did I mention I don't like chain bookstores?

On the other hand, we've got a nice variety of used and independent stores here in Seattle. Half Price is amazing. I know what you're thinking, "Half Price is a chain, didn't you just say you detest chain bookstores?" Well, yes, but used bookstores are an exception because they're honestly more like independents in selection and atmosphere. Last week when I was at my local Half Price I found a bunch of books by a wonderful woman by the name of Alice A Bailey. Now, understand, Bailey was a Theosophist. These are the guys that started the movement back in the 1800's that degraded into what we know as the "New Age." These books however, are not what we think of as New Age now, they are vastly more thought provoking and challenging. Not to mention the fact that they're hard to find in brick and mortar stores, damn near impossible, actually. Which is why I just about fainted when I saw about half the set sitting on Half Price's New Age shelves, and snapped up a couple on the spot.

Half Price, however, is only the tip of the iceberg, and really the most boring part. Halfway between my house and that Half Price is a little place called Magus Books, an independent used book merchant in the truest sense. This place is lit by giant plate glass windows and halogen bulbs, peeling paint on the walls, the smell of old books in the air. Its absolutely awe inspiring. Just about the only thing missing for me about this place is the lack of stacks of unshelved books in the aisles. I've found Rosicrucian and Freemason bibles here (and kicked myself because I was broke and couldn't afford either) nice copies of the Her Krishna edition of the Bhagavad Gita from the 60's, all kinds of crazy odds and ends on the shelves. I could walk around this place browsing for hours, and it isn't much more than a hole in the wall. Not to mention the fact I've had my eye on a couple books in the antiquarian/collectible cabinet at the front of the store for a while now, if only they're still there when I have some money again, they'll be mine, all mine, MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! *rubs hands with a sinister grin*

Sorry, got a bit carried away there, Booking Through Thursday post should be up sometime this afternoon.