Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bookhunter on the Prowl

Eldest daughter had an art class last night in downtown Saratoga Springs, so I needed to find something to do from 7 to 9 pm on a cold evening. The lunar eclipse didn't start until 8:45 pm and not much else is open late on a February Wednesday night except for a couple of coffee shops and a Borders Book Store. If I went to Borders for two hours I'd feel obliged to buy a book or two--something I highly approve of and try to impress on my own multi-hour customers with meaningful, cocked-eyebrow glances.

Buying books at retail makes me implode, so I went to the Book Bag, the volunteer-run bookstore inside the Saratoga Springs' Library , which was open until 8 pm. It was a luxurious and warm hour spent speed-reading book spines and I came away with two bags of books, some for the shop and some for our home library, including:

~A beautiful hardcover reprint to replace our battered paperback copy of Farley Mowat's Owls in the Family, a howlingly funny account of life with two rescued screech owls.

~John Grogan's bestseller, Marley and Me, which has not yet arrived in our bookshop, and which features another unruly-animal-in-the-house saga, this time starring a 90-lb. golden retriever.

~The Winter Woods, written and illustrated by John R. Quinn. Dan and I are suckers for this kind of elegiac nature writing and the accompanying lino-cuts expertly showcase the stark beauty of leafless trees, pileated woodpeckers, and animals tracks in the snow. Our own background abuts many acres of cornfields which are now leveled and covered with snow and ice. They are the quiet home for flocks of turkeys, the occasional mallard family, and many hungry deer, although at present, this lovely white palette has been covered over by a fresh sprinkling of dairy farm manure. This does cut down on the snowmobiling noise pollution out back, however.

~I got some other good store stock, a vintage fishing book, a P.G. Wodehouse novel, a first edition Granville Hicks autobiography, a karate book for a voracious martial arts customer, and Elsie Dinsmore book in a dust jacket, some poetry titles, a cookbook or two and then....the score of the night:

~Recent Forgeries, by Viggo "Aragorn"Mortensen, an exhibition catalogue from his first one-man show of paintings and photographs, with a CD tucked in the rear cover of Viggo reading his poetry and a euphorically over-the-top foreword by Dennis Hopper. Not sure if this book will make it to the shop, as I plan to squirrel it away for future perusal.

Can't wait til I can browse the back half of the Book Bag next week. Stay tuned for more book treasure-hunting.


Suzanne Lieurance said...

Your bookstore looks like a great place to hang out and browse (and buy) on a Saturday morning, especially during the cold winter months.

Happy reading!

Suzanne Lieurance
The Working Writer's Coach
"When Your Pen Won't Budge, Read The Morning Nudge"

Poetikat said...

I found your site through Blogrush and have already linked to it on mine. Your bookstore looks charming and I wish it were right around the corner from me so I could stop in, have nose around, give Sam a chin-scratch and have a chat with you.
Please stop by Poetikat's and see if anything takes your fancy.

Ward Tipton said...

I do not know if you would enjoy a little drama mixed in with some comedy and sporadic pointless violence. However, in regards to long-lost animals moving in, I would have to recommend "Dr. Henry Metzger's Dog" by a fellow named Thomas Perry. It is definitely an interesting read and rings very true in many instances regarding his cat and the cat's newly found pet and friend.

A great read by my account.

-Ward Tipton-

Dan Weaver said...

You must have hit the library store at just the right time. I usually come away from there with nothing.