I love used books. A) They’re cheaper, B) They’re usually sold in small, independent stores, and C) I love the idea of other people reading and enjoying the book before me. So me and my friend AM have been planning to go used-book shopping on Friday (yesterday). With $100 in my pocket, we first hit Books on View and spent, I think, about an hour perusing the stacks. Even then, I didn’t get to see everything. I didn’t learn until we were leaving that there are two sections for fiction, and I was only looking at one. I left there with five books: four fiction, one nonfiction.

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews in hardcover for $9.99
Angels & Insects by A.S. Byatt in trade for $6.99
The Color Purple by Alice Walker in hardcover for $6.99
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant in trade for $9.99
and
Hegemony or Survival by Noam Chomsky (New, not used) in trade for $9.99
for a total of $46.59 after tax.

A Complicated Kindness I’ve heard good thing about from a few people, most notably L at my store, who has repeatedly recommended it.

Angels & Insects seems vaguely familiar to me; I must have heard the name before, but I don’t even remember if it was a recommendation or not. I just picked up the book and felt like I had to buy it. Strange.

The Color Purple is, of course, a classic, and I haven’t read it yet. I’ve also seen it on a lesbian reading list, and I do want to expand my lesbian book repertoire (Is that the right use for that word? I was impressed just to be able to spell it.). Inside the cover, on the first blank page in the upper right corner, someone has written in blue ink:

Xmas ’86
Dear Bridget,
I feel I have found a
new friend, in you,
best wishes,
love
Alex.
xx.

I wonder why Bridget got rid of the book. Was Alex wrong? Did Bridget get scared off by the unnecessary commas before and after “in you”? Or did she just not like the story? Mysterious.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about The Red Tent, and I got yet another vouch for it from the girl at Books on View, so I’d be surprised if it turned out not to be good.

I’ve been meaning to read Noam Chomsky for ages, so when I was Hegemony or Survival by the counter I snatched it up. We read a little Chomsky in English class, and I think I’ll enjoy it.

Next up we went to Russell Books, the parent company of Books on View. It’s bigger, but I didn’t stay as long. AM had to leave fairly quickly to get to her job and I was getting a little nervous about time (unnecessarily, it turns out. It was only 5.), so I just got two books.

Places I Never Meant to Be edited by Judy Blume in trade for $6.99
and
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers in trade for $9.99
for a total of $18 even, after tax.

I read Places I Never Meant to Be when I was younger and liked it, but I mostly got it because I hate book censorship, and it’s a collection of stories by censored writers.

A Heartbreaking Worst of Staggering Genius I’ve had recommended to me by a few people, so I didn’t think twice about grabbing this one. And he apparently rates himself as a three on a scale of 1-10, 10 being straight and 1 being gay, so that’s a plus.

But my real victory was when I finally went to the Salvation Army (I pass it every day on my bus route) to look for books. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to look through all of them, since I got there about 8 minutes before closing, but I did manage to pick up five books, all in paperback.

Speaker For the Dead by Orson Scott Card for $1.29
Xenocide by Orson Scott Card for $1.29
Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel for $1.29
Sunwing by Kenneth Oppel for $1.29
and
From Beginning to End: The Rituals of Our Lives by Robert Fulghum for $1.29
for a total of $6.45 after tax!

The Orson Scott Card books I already had at one point, but I tried to read them when I was younger and got really confused, so I gave them away. Recently, however, I re-read Ender’s Game and loved it, so I wanted to give them another shot.

I actually already own Sunwing in trade, but I thought it’d be better if I had both of them in the same format. I’ve already read them and remember liking them. I’ll have to re-read.

I loved All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned In Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum a ton. It’s just a feel-good book. And later I got It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It and loved it, too. And I read a bit of Uh-Oh and felt the same way, so hopefully this one is more of the same.

Yay! Lots of books! For a grand total of 12 books for $71.04, so I still have money left over! The only problem now is getting off those little stickers… they’re impossible when you bite off all your nails.

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