17 September 2006

books, glorious books

If you've read the post below, you'll recall that yesterday did not get off to a wonderful start. I was in kind of a bad mood for most of the morning, so by the time afternoon rolled around, I decided I needed something to cheer me up -- and that something must not involve my children, the source of my (temporary) misery. So I went shopping.

Most women -- stereotypically -- get psyched about shoe shopping, or clothes shopping, or make-up or whatever. Me, I get excited by thrift stores, cooking stuff (I have a list a mile long of items I need to improve my kitchen), and food shopping (seriously, I love grocery shopping, especially when my kids are not with me), but most of all by books. And among bookstores, my favorite ever is a narrow, creaky, crowded little book-lover's paradise, crammed to the ceiling with used books, tucked away in the back of a building on a main street downtown.

Now, really, even going to a bookstore and browsing without buying is enough to lift my mood. I really didn't intend to buy anything! But I came home the happy owner of 6 gently-used books. It was so hard to choose; I could easily have bought twice as much as I did. I left behind books by Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, The Time-Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger, Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry, books by Vonnegut and Bill Bryson.

So what did I buy? In no particular order:

  • A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

A lack of disposable income causes me to be a conservative book shopper -- I tend to buy only books I've read before and loved, or I buy classics that I think I should probably have read by now, but I somehow missed in all of my high school and college English classes. So it's nice when I find used books in good condition and pay a fraction of the price I'd pay if buying them new. (In this case, $75 worth of books are mine for just $30.)

And this morning I played two ultimate frisbee games, so I'm not up for much other than sitting around and reading and relaxing tonight. Perfect. Today, I am happy.


Rebecca said...

I am currently reading Lord of the Flies with my students! I would love to hear your thoughts on the book, because there is nothing like apathetic high school students to ruin a good work of literature.

Good choices on all of the books. I also must mention that book stores and kitchen gadgets are almost unrivaled in the "these things make me giddy with excitement" category.

kim said...

I bought a used copy of The God of Small Things (at a library sale for $1) this weekend too! If I'd known you were looking for a copy of Middlesex, I could have loaned you mine (if you haven't read it already) - setting up a book exchange could be another fun way of saving money.

Anonymous said...

ahhh! i read a room of one's own about a year ago and really liked it. i've heard about the god of small things (maybe from you?). and i also Love bookstores :)
glad to hear the books cheered you up!

Anonymous said...

Does your local library have book sales? I love those because paperbacks are fifty cents and hardcovers are a dollar, so less choosing is necessary. :)

You're a woman after my own heart when it comes to shopping, though. My wish list of kitchen items is also a mile long, and I have to be careful about even going near the small appliance section in Target. And grocery shopping *is* fun, at least when it's not crowded and I can take my time. My love of book shopping goes without saying.

I'm glad you got out and did something for yourself. And I'd love to hear about what you think of the books you got, or anything else you've been reading lately.