Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Sometimes, little treasures can be found in used bookstores. On my most recent trip to McKay's to trade in unwanted hardcovers and paperbacks, I decided to browse through the store (I had nearly an hour to wait for the 30 books and textbooks to be processed). Just when I was about to turn around and go to the cashier, I saw a nice leather-bound, 22K gilded Easton Press edition of Moby Dick. There were a couple of water stains on the inside flap (more like wet fingerprints), but for only $25, I suspected I might have something close to a bargain (in perfect condition, these can run well over $100, I found out upon returning home).
The other books are much cheaper. I enjoyed Hansen's Chess Garden, so I though I'd give Perlman's Ordeal a try for only $4. Finding a Turkish New Testament for $3 means it'll go with the other 12 New Testaments that I have in other languages. Decided to give Jack Vance another shot and finding Dragon Masters for only $2.50 helped matters. Since I'm doing this WoT re-read project, might as well get the prequel, New Spring, and at $2, it was tolerable.
Got the entire Vance Lyonesse trilogy for $6. The follow-up to Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz, called Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman I hear is nowhere near as good, but for $1, it's a risk I can afford to take. And I got a hardcover student's edition of Calderón de la Barca's La vida es sueño for $3, so I can have a hardcover spare of that most excellent play from El Siglo del Oro.
Always been meaning to read The Tale of Genji in full and $6 for this newish edition is not bad. I read a good short story by Thai author S.P. Somtov last year, so finding his The Riverrun Trilogy for $3 is not bad. I finally got around to buying Mary Renault's Fire from Heaven after being reminded of it recently and $1.50 isn't too shabby, I suppose. The bilingual Legends from Latin America/Leyendas de Latinoamérica set me back $7, but I suspect it'll be worth it. And Le Guin's The Eye of the Heron was only $2 and I might be doing a re-read/read of a near dozen or so of her books in the future, so why not?
I seem to recall hearing a few authors whose tastes in books I respect praising Pollack, so getting her Unquenchable Fire for $2 hopefully will make it a low-risk, high-reward find. Tim Powers' The Drawing of the Dark was also $2, while Sir Philip Sydney (he whom I associate with the Elizabethan Porn Smugglers from the latter days of Monty Python)'s The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia was $3. C.S. Friedman's first Coldfire Trilogy book, Black Sun Rising was relatively expensive at $3.75, while the third volume to Michael Moorcock's Count Brass trilogy, The Quest for Tanelorn was $2.25.
Best of all, my store credit was still greater than these by nearly $8, so all I pretty much paid for these was the gas it took to drive 45 minutes each way. Should also mean lots of good reads in the coming months, especially since I'm reducing my purchases of new books to virtually zero for the next few months.
Any of these that you've read about which you'd like to comment?