Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekend Assignment #252: Book Connections

Last week, we welcomed our first guest "professor," Florinda, who provided us with assigner Weekend Assignment #251: Fantasy Sabbatical. This week, let's dip into the suggestion list from another guest "professor," Laura of YBTN. Both the main question and the extra credit are hers, as we return to a favorite subject for some of us: books!

Weekend Assignment #252: Where do you get books from?

Extra Credit:
What was the last book you read, and why?

Mind you, I'm hoping for something more interesting than five people posting the word "Amazon." Let's consider more than just our #1 current bookseller, shall we? I'll start.

Okay, yes, many of my recent purchases are from Amazon, but not all of them. This morning, for example, I had a half hour delay in starting work, due to the business where I'm working having computer problems. So I dashed over to Borders, and ended up perusing their remaindered merchandise. I picked up a Peanuts calendar (Sunday strips on the left pages, a week of calendar on the right ones) for work for $4, browsed through Christmas ornaments and Hanukkah votives, and ended up with this:



It's sort of a purse-thing, a slipcase with purple ribbon ties and patent leather handles, containing the first two Nancy Drew books. I first read The Secret of the Old Clock and The Hidden Staircase approximately 32 years ago, and I'm curious to see what I'll make of this edition. The illustrations look more 1940s-1950s than 1930 (when it was first published) or 1960s or later. But I'm sure I remember wondering what a "roadster" was. This edition calls Nancy's car a "convertible."



There must be lots of books in my collection from B&N and Borders, Amazon and even Costco; but the older volumes tend to have a very different provenance. I spent a good chunk of the 1970s buying paperbacks (Star Trek books, Harlan Ellison and Ballantine Adult Fantasy) from my local Waldenbooks, a Manlius drugstore or one of the bookstores around Syracuse University. More interesting, perhaps, are the ones I either inherited or raided from my parents' library: the Who's Who-type books my mom was in, my favorite poetry collection, the Robert Frost book that once had a love poem hidden in it (not shown here), and an Ogden Nash collection with the spine missing.



After I met John in 1977, the book-collecting became more serious and more diverse in its sources. We scoured thrift shops and used bookstores and library sales, all over the country. Here's one of my rarer L'Engle books, clearly ex-library, but not a conventional library. Before Herman Franz of Utica, NY bought it outright, this 1951 first edition was apparently available as a rental. I don;t actually remember where I found this book, but I think it may have been at a book sale in Ohio!

On the extra credit, I'm trying to remember the last book I actually finished reading. It's probably The Grand Tour, by Patricia C Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. In September when I found myself jobless, I found some excuse (a rediscovered gift card, perhaps?) to buy a new edition of Sorcery and Cecilia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot. This in turn enabled me to read its sequel, The Grand Tour, which I bought some time ago while waiting to purchase one of the later Harry Potter books at midnight. Since reading those two books back to back (and they cheered me up immensely at the time) I've been wanting to read the third in the series, The Mislaid Magician, or Ten Years After. The fact that the latter book arrived from Amazon just before I get my new job gives this extra credit paragraph a nice symmetry, don't you think?

So. Where do you get your books? Is there some independent bookseller you're trying to singlehandedly keep in business with your purchases? A used bookstore where you get rid of almost as many books as you buy? An online retailer whose name begins with A? One of those ubiquitous big chains? Tell us about it in your blog, with a link back to this entry, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below. I'll be back in a week to post the results. Meanwhile...

For Weekend Assignment #251: Fantasy Sabbatical, Florinda asked us where we would go and what we would do with a 6 month paid sabbatical. Here are excerpts from your responses:

Mary said in comments...

I think you need that 6 months. There are a couple of dad's friends whom I'd take in if I had a free 6 months.

Julie said...

Seriously, I'd like to do a book about England and/or Europe, so that sort of leaves out the beach stuff, unless I were to spend a lot of time along the Mediterranean. But even more seriously, that's not where I'd want to spend all of my time.

Florinda said...

To begin with, I think I would opt for a major change of scenery, and spend my six months' leave in the opposite corner of the country - New England. I lived in Connecticut until I was twelve, but have barely been back there since my family moved south. However, my home base for the period would be my favorite East Coast city, Boston (don't tell that to my birthplace, New York, though).

Tall Paul said...

So where would I spend it? With my camera in a rental car (a comfortable rental car!) - traveling all around the United States. Why drive? More often than not, the best trips I have taken in my life have been road trips.

Mike said...

So, where would I go? Is it okay if I drink beer? Good. I'd probably go a few places. I'd head out to the Pacific Northwest first. Maybe travel from Vancouver down through Oregon and stop before I got to California. (No offense California!)

That's it for now. Assuming you're not too busy reading, I hope you'll turn up here to tell us about your preferred book suppliers for this Weekend Assignment. And yes, I'm still soliciting your suggestions for future Weekend Assignment topics. Email me your ideas at mavarin@aol.com anytime. If I use your topic you'll get full credit and my undying thanks. And thanks to Florinda and Laura for two great Assignments in a row!

Karen

Update! Laura belatedly did her own Assignment:

I get books from numerous places. Some of them are fairly generic - Amazon, my local Borders store, my local B&N, and Hofstra University's campus bookstore for some of my textbooks. However, I would like to mention my favorite used bookstores as well...

10 comments:

FrankandMary said...

I can stay in an indy book store until they throw me out. I will cop to B&N and Borders also, but only when I am looking for an old classic or a just new must read. I once went to Boston for an estate sale just because they listed: LOTS OF OLD BOOKS. Running medical practices in the past I received many health related books that were better than I thought they'd be from drug reps. There is a Catholic thrift shop in my area that I go to about 4 times a year since people drop some good finds there, not many, but enough to make me visit on occasion and pick up some good reads.

I am not a fan of most of the new novels, but an ex's daughter sent me~
Skinned~ by Robin Wasserman, and I started that last night. ~Mary

FrankandMary said...

I can stay in an indy book store until they throw me out. I will cop to B&N and Borders also, but only when I am looking for an old classic or a just new must read. I once went to Boston for an estate sale just because they listed: LOTS OF OLD BOOKS. Running medical practices in the past I received many health related books that were better than I thought they'd be from drug reps. There is a Catholic thrift shop in my area that I go to about 4 times a year since people drop some good finds there, not many, but enough to make me visit on occasion and pick up some good reads.

I am not a fan of most of the new novels, but an ex's daughter sent me~
Skinned~ by Robin Wasserman, and I started that last night. ~Mary

DesLily said...

*smiling* I enjoyed those books by by Patricia C Wrede and Caroline Stevermer too!

unfortunately MOST of my buying is from Amazon since I don't drive and get out rarely, though on ocassion I get to Barnes and Noble. I would Love love love to go to yard sales and library sales, but can't get to them. Oh! sometimes I do get books from Bookcloseouts.com

Scobberlotcher said...

I get most of my books from Amazon and our local Half Price Books (which I am starting to feel slightly guilty about since, as an author, I deprive my fellow writer of her $1, but....) I love to haunt antique stores in search of first editions or just interesting editions. I found one last week called Don't Blame The Miror. It's a 1960s beauty guide that is hilarious. I also found a copy of Tom Sawyer by Samuel Clemens (before he started publising under Mark Twain) and picked it up for $4.

Great topic!

barrettmanor said...

Finally got the time to sit down and write something:
http://www.barrettmanor.com/julie/archive.aspx?ID=2449

Florinda said...

Ah, a topic close to my book-loving (and -blogging) heart! Here's my response.

Mary K. from L.A. said...

Florinda sent me, for which I am truly grateful! It is a fun question, and here is my response: http://storeetllrsanythingblog.blogspot.com/

Mike said...

I almost forgot today was Thursday, but I managed to get my assignment done.

Dawn Allynn said...

I forget to do assignments at all anymore, this was a treat :) What a nice topic I could relate to! My assignment can be found here:
http://dawnallynn.blogspot.com/

Becky said...

Those Nancy Drew covers are identical to the editions I would get for Christmas in the early 70s. Yellow borders and all. Neat!