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

Thursday, August 6, 2009

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.

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