childhood, reading

Book Hunting

Cedar Sanderson's old books
The books we found through the day… some old, none very new.

One of the reasons I write is that I love to read. My Mom tells me I learned how to read at four, but I honestly don’t remember a time when I couldn’t read. Mom may have regretted teaching me, because what I do remember is her trying to slow me down or keep me from reading all the time right up until I left for college. And then… college library! OMG! LOL… sorry, channeling my excited inner teen there for a moment. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I slowed from more than one book a day to my current pace of daily reading being mostly blogs and internet ‘stuff’ than books. I can still sit down and finish a novel in just a couple of hours, but I rarely have that much time all in one chunk any more. Thank goodness for my phone with a Kindle app… now I can read where ever and when ever.

Yesterday, however, we had some unexpected time, and took full advantage of it for a lovely drive in the country. We ventured over to Lebanon, Ohio, on an errand, and spent some time exploring his childhood haunts while we were there. I’d stopped at a thrift shop/junk store, looking for a shelf for the closet, and wound up picking up some vintage western novels at a quarter apeice. The stories may be dreadful (probably are) but my companion and I share a mutual appreciation for Westerns, and these mid-fifties pulp covers were worth snagging.

We found a truly junky shop out in the woods that he has been visiting since he was a child himself, and he pointed out a few things that he says have been there (like an old steamer trunk, almost smashed when the shed it was in the rafters of collapsed) since he was a young man, four decades ago. Some of the outbuildings were impassable, stacked with junk, rusty, moldy, and dirty, to the rafters. One actually had lights and paths, and we ventured it. I found books there, including a H. Rider Haggard I hadn’t read (and was a first edition) but all of them were moldy, and after a short time my companion insisted I come out of there, he was worried about my lungs (mold allergy). The only book I got was a dry, if slightly musty, scifi/spy novel, the Isotope Man, and that was because the title and cover appealed to me. Also, it was fifty cents.

We wrapped up our expedition at the charming used book store in Lebanon, Chapters Pre-Loved Books. There we found several titles that appealed to us, and we will go back! Decent pricing, most books at half cover price or less, and a good selection of SF/F, although what I was looking for (and found, Yay!) were short story collections by Louis L’Amour. He picked up a copy of Johnny Tremain, which he hasn’t re-read since boyhood, and we had a nice chat with the girl behind the counter, who is an aspiring writer. We exchanged cards, and she is going to suggest to the owner that they consider picking up Vulcan’s Kittens to sell in the shop. Even if they don’t, I look forward to our return, as a good used bookstore means I can find titles to try at less than Amazon prices.

Of course, my dear companion looked at me as we got back in the car and said, “this means we need another book case, doesn’t it?” I must admit, I hope he doesn’t mind my collecting books! It’s something I have done for all my life, and I don’t think it will stop anytime soon, even if it does mean more bookshelves.

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