I love used book stores. I have never really been attracted to new book stores, for a couple of reasons. As a child and teen, I couldn’t afford to pay cover price for a book. I think the only books I ever had brand new was the complete LM Montgomery set in paperback that was my christmas present one year. Bliss, indeed. I passed what was left of them on to my own daughters.
Secondly, as an adult it was the era of Borders and Barnes & Nobles, and although I shopped often enough at them, once children came I once again had no money to squander on new books. Besides, used book stores are special. They contain a random assortment of knowledge, bundled in packages of all shapes and sizes, and they smell right. If I can’t find a proper used book store, I will do what I did this weekend, and go junking, instead. My First Reader had seen a Peddler’s Mall in Lebanon, Ohio, so when we had the day to ourselves, we drove over to see what it held. Mostly antiques, mostly terribly overpriced, although I did pick up the rolling pin I had been looking for.
Each booth held a wildly different selection of items, the byproduct of different people selling whatever they had found. There were plenty that held books, but to my disappointment most were modern dreck, some of which I read, but that is what the library is for, when I want what I call a bon-bon book. What I was looking for were noir novels. Old paperbacks, yellowed pages, tattered covers, and that wonderfully gritty pulp fiction look to the covers.
I succeeded in finding some in one booth, where the seller had them bundled with a strip of paper. I could see the titles, mostly, and part of the cover of the one in front with the back blurb of the last one. I rejected at least one bundle for containing westerns, which I wasn’t interested in (this trip!) and snagged the other two to come home with me. They may be obscure, and badly written (most likely) but the cover art is interesting and the ‘flavor’ of the books I want to take away as I am writing Trickster Noir.
I thought I’d share the art with you, today, especially as some of it is so over the top as to be amusing and amazing.