Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Got Books?

Saturday Liz and I ventured into Lawrence looking for a used bookstore we had just found out about called Got Books? It's run by a non-profit org that donates the proceeds to various charities. Plus, everything in this place is a dollar.

Race ya.

That's hard to pass up. They also offer records, CDs, videos, and books-on-tape. All for a buck a piece. One potential drawback is that the books are unsorted. So you've got your Stephen King next to a Javascript textbook next to a Martha Stewart Living Christmas special from 1987. But that's actually part of the fun. We barely got through half the books. Another downside is that there are no public bathrooms. And this place is out in industrial park land, so no McDonald's or gas station next door for easy urinal access.

But here's what I bought:

The Stones of Summer, by Dow Mossman. I'd seen this writer featured in a documentary called Stone Reader. This book was originally published in 1972 to great reviews, then disappeared, as did Mossman. But Barnes and Noble republished the novel in 2003 after the documentary rediscovered its author. I don't know if anybody bought it the second time around because this copy I found (for a dollar, did I mention that already?) is in great shape. Anyway, I'm interested in lost treasures and forgotten authors, so I'll let you know how the book is.

Lit Life, by Kurt Wenzel. I've had my eye on this book since it was published in 2001. Every time I picked it up I thought, no no, I'll wait until it's half price. Years later I picked it up again I thought, nope, not yet, I'll just wait until it's a dollar. And wham, I finally hit the jackpot. I know, it wasn't free, but I decided it was time to act. The book concerns a young writer struggling through a bout of writer's block who is mentored by his literary hero, a "dyspeptic and obscure novelist." I'll let you know if I should have waited another couple years.

The Dain Curse, by Dashiell Hammett. A classic, but I've never read it.

Let The Kids Play, by Pax Paloscia. This one was a shrinkwrapped mystery. The cover didn't give much away, except intrigue. I couldn't thumb through the book because it was sealed, but I decided to take a chance. I've never heard of Pax, but when your cover is adorned with a kid pointing a gun, it's hard to pass up.

Turns out Pax is an artist who "conveys the fresh naivete of Drago's 36 Chambers series. Born in Rome in 1974, Pax travels the world searching for new input and inspiration. Moving between Paris and New York, she records her impressions, and her dreamy and nostalgic world is the key to this book." The book filled with photography of mostly kids and teenagers from different cities, graffiti, illustrations, and paintings. The art is evocative and vaguely disturbing. And with so many pictures, it's a quick read.

All in all a small but decent haul. And since we barely browsed half the stacks, we'll be headed back there again real soon.


Cynthia said...

Sounds like a great haul of interesting and fascinating books! I love hitting the Goodwill or other used book stores for inexpensive novels, unless it's an author I know, then I buy it new. Got to support our fellow published authors. :)

Dell Smith said...

True that. But if we don't buy up these second-hand books, somebody else will.

Liz's Mom said...

I am always interested to find out what books interest you, and I am always surprised. So when you tell me about a book, I say to myself, "Hmmm, maybe I will look into that." (unless I get a hint saying, "this one is not for parents."

Interesting stuff in your blog posts, yes indeed.
Warmest affection, Liz's Mom

Muriel said...

Dad was frothing at the mouth when he heard about the $1.00 book store. Too bad he lives in Florida. That's pretty far from Lawrence, Massachusetts. Muriel

Dell Smith said...

Hi Liz's Mom, thanks for reading. I'd probably not recommend Let the Kids Play, But Stones of Summer might interest you. And of course, The Dain Curse you've probably already read more than once.

Dell Smith said...

Hi Muriel (Dell's Mom). Tell Dad to give me a list of books he wants me to look for. I'll be going back soon for more bargains: I can't keep away...must stop...can't stop...