Book Buying

Reading books and owning books are two different things. I have resumed my love affair with the library when it comes to books I want to read. Generally, these are popular fiction or mysteries that I will read in a few days. They are all part of a series with, in some cases, eight installments. And they rarely come up in the bargain ebook bin. With five of them under my belt, I’ve probably saved $50!

Which I then invested in analog books. The library will never replace buying a book for me and it seems as though book shops have been throwing themselves in my path. I had to take an extra suitcase to San Antonio that would be essentially empty coming back but still have to be checked. What to do? Fill it with books!

I investigated independent bookstores in San Antonio and found The Twig Book Shop, but it was too far away with my limited schedule. One evening, however, I wandered through the Rivercenter Mall and came upon the Thai Princess Book Shop. It was an intriguing shop, small with extensive collections of a few popular authors and then an interesting smattering of other stuff including San Antonio authors. That’s mostly what I bought along with two of the Thai Princess’s books.

Yes, there is a Thai Princess and she’s been endorsed by Oprah! Her name is Nuensie Nancy Suku Oakley. Poor, abused, she fought hard to become a successful businesswoman. The proceeds from her books go to charity. I had the privilege of talking with her and she promised to come help me when I’m ready to open my own book shop.

Here’s the list of what I bought. I’ve already finished Simple Genius, the third book in David Baldacci’s King and Maxwell series. It was a well written version of a pretty formulaic genre. So much so, I borrowed the first book in the series from the library. Split Second was also good…a little creepier than Simple Genius but with similar dead ends, plots twists, and generally well-developed characters.

My folks invited me to spend a few days with them in their condo at Massanutten. It was a last minute trip…they didn’t expect to have a second bedroom. I accepted and had a lovely visit with them that included some Skyline Drive, an interesting lunch at the Thomas House restaurant in Dayton, and a trip to the Green Valley Book Fair. I resolved to only fill one basket and managed to do so quite nicely. I bought a couple cookbooks and six other books. Here’s the list, which includes books purchased when I was there in the spring. I picked up Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter today and am finding it intriguing and a bit fun.

Speaking of book shops appearing out of nowhere, I don’t think I posted about the books I bought when I was visiting in Pennsylvania in early May? Turns out BJ’s Wholesale Club has a pretty good selection of recent titles. I walked away with a few books including Edward Rutherford’s new tome, Paris, which I started but then abandoned until I have a few days when I can immerse myself in the sprawling novel.

I did write about my visit to Blue Whale Books in Charlottesville.

It has been a good book shop year so far…not sure what I’ll find this summer. It’s going to be an airport summer, and I found some great books last summer in the airport book stores. I’ve already gotten started with Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. I bought it in the Richmond airport and finished it during a recent trip. I did bring it home…any one want to borrow it? It’s a novel with a message about environmental stewardship woven into a complex tale of family and community.

I’ve been reading quite a bit, it seems, escaping the afternoon heat and incoming emails for an hour here and there. I’ll post a longer review of Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose, which flowed richly from the page, a big story of the West that managed to also be an intimate portrait of a marriage.

I am going to start my career as a bookseller this summer. We’re going to have a table at the local farmers’ market, and I’m going to fill up my book spinner with a few paperbacks. I think I can part with a few things. I need shelf space for the new books I bought.

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