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August 10, 2001

book buying bonanza

(Have I mentioned I hate coming up with subject lines for weblog entries? Grrrrrr).

So after work tonight I went to Half Price Books (the Excelsior Blvd/Miracle Mile location, if you know it and care). Now, for most of my adult life I've visited used book and music stories regularly, often at least once a week, sometimes more often. I'm a little obsessive and I like books and CDs and such stuff. This was my first visit in a few months, though.

I thought maybe I'd tell you which sections I usually visit and in what order, because I'm always fascinated to hear about that sort of thing (you might not be, tho). And as I thought about this, I realized it's a long list.

I generally check the new fiction hardcovers as I come into the store on the off chance they've got something new that I want. And then I'll usually hit the videotape section to look for rare things or tv things (but I skipped that almost entirely today, except for looking for a couple of movies in particular). Then on to science fiction hardcovers and trade paperbacks. Sometimes I'll also look at the paperbacks, sometimes just for certain things. Then I usually check a couple of sections of the alphabet in "Fiction" and then I'll visit "Humor" and then the section that houses plays, movie stuff, TV stuff, and biographies of actors and directors and such. I'll check the computer book section, mostly the stuff that's about technology and the net in more general terms, not the manuals and whatnot. And I'll sometimes look at the young adult and kids books, too. And of course I'll check the rare stuff. And then if I still haven't found way more things than I could possibly want or need, I'll keep on browsing through whatever strikes my fancy.

Today I hit new fiction, the tv videotapes, all of science fiction (hardcover and softcover), humor, tv/movies/plays/actors, and checked a couple of things in fiction. I didn't get to all the videos or the laserdiscs or any of my other usual sections. Still managed to fill a basket with stuff, though. If you're the type of person who enjoys reading "lists of books someone bought" you can follow the link to hear the rest of the tale.

What I got (for less than $75 total, yay!):

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Widescreen collector's set videotape thingie

So I'd put off buying this (yeah, I know, and I call myself a geek?) and then I figured I'd just wait for the DVD, but this set was in great shape (Fine, to be precise) and had everything included and was cheap. I figure I'm obligated to keep up the tradition I've got going of getting like every dang instance of Star Wars films on tape. (I have three different sets of tapes of the original trilogy. At least. It's out of hand. Most are widescreen). I'm glad I spotted this as I walked past the tapes en route elsewhere.

Dogland by Will Shetterly. Trade paperback.

I like Will, I like Will's books, and I couldn't remember if I'd bought this yet or not. I mean, I should've bought it ages ago, just as I should've read it ages ago, but I haven't so who knows. It was cheap and I figure if I already have it, I know plenty of people who'd love to get it as a gift or who should simply have it gifted to them.

The Alternative Dectective by Robert Sheckley. Forge trade paperback. Like new.

Publisher's Weekly calls it "a zany romp," so how could I resist? (Okay, that might put me off my feed . . . ). I like some Sheckley and I didn't have this and it looked good and the price was right so now I have it. Plus I like detectives.

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. Hardcover.

He's the "author of Wicked" as the cover blurb claims. Which, um, I haven't read yet either. Pretty cover, I've heard some good things about it, and it's a first edition in pristine condition and only cost $4.98. And then there's the whole fairy tale connection. How could I pass it up?

The Cassini Division by Ken MacLeod. Hardcover. First U.S. edition.

I have it in paperback, read it in paperback, and then someone sent me another MacLeod book in hardcover and then I realized I want them all in hardcover, darnit. So I was pleased to stumble on this. It's a good book. MacLeod was a fabulous guest at Minicon 36, by the way. Utterly charming.

The End and The Beginning: The Official Guide To The X-Files, Volume 5

Um. So. Yeah. I have volumes 1-4 and I hadn't gotten around to getting this one yet and it was cheap and now I have it, yay! And there's another one due out any time now, too. These are fairly cool as official series episode guide books go.

Life on the Border edited by Terri Windling. Paperback.

It's a well-worn paperback, but it's in better shape than the copy I already own. Of course the copy I already own has all sorts of autographs in it, so it's not as if I'm ever gonna part with it. But I figure I could use an extra copy to get more worn. Or to loan out. Or something. It's one of those books I always buy when I find it because I know plenty of people who are looking for it. And it's cool.

SeaQuest DSV: The Novel by Diane Duane and Peter Morwood. Paperback. Great condition.

I suppose I have some explaining to do. I'm not like some crazy huge big SeaQuest fan, though I have seen my fair share of episodes and I do have a crush on Ted Raimi (ahem), but where was I? Well, I like Diane Duane and Peter Morwood a lot. And how could I resist a book that had "The Television Event of The Year" printed on it in all-caps (in red, no less)? Hey, upon further inspection I notice it's a British paperback. Huh.

Web of Angels by John M. Ford. Paperback. Bent cover. It's the more recent paperback reissue, not the original paperback with that super ugly cover.

Um. I see a book by Mike Ford and I buy it. That's how it works. No matter the condition. Because there are always people I know who are hunting for them or who simply need them (whether they know it yet or not). It's worth noting that the cover blurb says "Cyberspace was his to command-- unless it killed him first!" and that this book came out in 1980 originally. Of course this paperback edition was printed in '92, thus the word 'cyberspace.' This book was cyber before cyber existed. It was web, before web. There are webspinners in this book. You get the idea.

Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler. Trade paperback which collects Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago.

A series of books I've been meaning to read since forever. Seeing Butler in person at Minicon 35 just reminded me how cool she is and how I really need to read more of her work. Five bucks for three books I've been meaning to read? Whee!

Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany. Trade paperback with foreward by William Gibson. Wesleyan University Press edition (not the new Vintage edition).

It's past time I read this.

Trouble on Triton by Samuel R. Delany. Another of the Wesleyan trade paperbacks. This one with foreward by Kathy Acker.

Time to fill out my bookshelves since it's become clear I need more Delany.

The Singing Detective by Dennis Potter. Trade paperback.

It's the unabridged text of "the widely acclaimed TV series." A series I still need to get on tape. I didn't even know this book existed, but I'm pleased to find it.

Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Brothers Cartoons by Jerry Beck & Will Friedwald.

There was a picture of Daffy Duck on it so I had to buy it. That or, you know, I love Warner brother cartoons and I've come close to buying this at full price before so when I saw it cheap used and in good condition, it was a no-brainer.

The World According to Carp: A Guindon Collection by Guindon, of course. Oversized paperback.

Yay! This probably pleases me the most of any of my finds. 'Cuz I love Guindon. And have been looking for collections of his cartoons. I love the fullpage blowup of the one that shows people tossing slices of bread in the air, waving flags, and cheering with the caption "1923, the neatest thing! The invention of sliced bread!" Or the one that shows a little old lady dropping something that looks like a very sturdy stick onto the ground with a big "clank!" right between her and this man on the street. Caption reads "Sadie Hollinger keeps people from crowding her by using the grocery separator sticks found in supermarkets."

I found a couple other things that were duplicates of books I already have that may make it onto my gift shelf, but since enough people I might gift read this weblog, I'm not saying what they are. Neener neener.

A good haul. Though I wish I'd had time to look at other stuff, but the store was closing and my basket was full anyway. Finding more stuff might've just led to some tough choices.

I love used bookstores. It's always weird if I shop at Borders or amazon to see how little $75 can buy there when compared with a used book store.

Posted by Laurel Krahn at 12:36 AM

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There's a way to turn off the display of subject lines in greymatter. I can't recall where it is offhand, but it's in there. You still have to title them, but they don't show up on the site. I give them really boring titles that remind me what was what...

Posted by: Medley at August 10, 2001 07:39 AM

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The Beck & Friedwald book is great. Not only is it a great reference for individual cartoons, it's fun to read from the beginning as Warner Bros. moves from Buddy and Bosko into Bugs and Daffy, and then degenerates into those awful Daffy & Speedy cartoons at the end.

The descriptions are frequently funny, too.

Posted by: Monty at August 10, 2001 09:13 AM

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Nice haul! I read along going, "OK, OK, yep, I can see Laurel getting that, yep, yep.... Hey, neat! Oh, cool!" Ended up feeling very envious and jonesing for a trip to the used book store.

When I do such things, I tend to ramble in The Book House in Dinkytown (which one shouldn't mistype starting with their right hand....). My meanderings tend to be through SF (quickly as their collection isn't that large) and then into cookbooks, philosophy, history and science. I tend to not buy much but really enjoy the old book smell and scanning through various odd books I come across.

Posted by: Peter Hentges at August 10, 2001 09:19 AM

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People post comments to your weblog entries? I had no idea.

What a strange world you live in.

Posted by: Bruce S at August 10, 2001 09:27 PM

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