I was lucky enough to visit a friend’s house yesterday, and he used to run a second-hand bookstore. He had an old-fashioned cabinet full of second-hand books…and I mean full, double-layered and stacked, with additional boxes of books in the garage! Even better; he wanted to get rid of them. I took some of mine that would otherwise be charity-fodder, and expected to swap a few. Hah. Nope. I didn’t get any pictures, but I’ve come back with three bags full!
I was in absolute book heaven for an hour. I kept squeaking as I found treasures – a couple of issues of Transmetropolitan, a copy of Bottersnikes and Gumbles (which I read as a child thanks to my Grandma’s Australian background, and I didn’t think it existed in the UK!), old-cover versions of The Tombs of Atuan and The Chronicles of Narnia, almost the entire set of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series, a copy of Smoke and Mirrors…I’ve got a stack of McCaffrey and Eddings, some of Juliet E McKenna’s books to read, one new series (I forget what it is…I’ll review it when I’m done, anyway), and my assorted randoms like The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and an illustrated copy of Pratchett’s Eric.
I opted to pick up the things I loved as a child and teenager; things I want to re-read and have in the house for visitors and family. I’ve got collections that I loved and that made my heart jump when I saw them; The Tombs of Atuan was one I read and re-read, and the cover is so evocative to me. I want to get the rest of the series now! I picked up the three Arthur C Clarke that I loved; Imperial Earth, A Fall of Moondust, and a collection of his short stories. Pern was such a classic series and I’m so pleased to finally have my own copies of Eddings (it’s the Belgariad and the Mallorean – I already have the Sparhawk series as they were my absolute favourites). I also picked up copies of The Lord of the Rings; my mother owns several so I never bothered buying it as a teenager, and I admit I don’t like it enough to buy it…but free copies, yep! It’s something I want to have, just because it’s such a classic – and it might make me get round to re-reading.
Reluctantly, I left quite a lot. There was a lot of 1908’s pulp, a stack Harry Harrison’s novels (I love The Stainless Steel Rat series, but didn’t get on with a lot of his others), a lot of Orson Scott Card, about half the set of Redwall, a whole shelf of Asimov, lots of Arthur C Clarke’s other stories…but I found that a lot of it was sci-fi, things I’d read and didn’t particularly enjoy, or things that I felt I should read. I like Asimov but he’s not my first choice; I want to read the Ender series but it’s some way down the list. So I reluctantly made the decision that I have a large TBR pile anyway and that life’s too short…and I can always come and borrow them!
The problem is that now I have to work out where to put them…I may be spending some time building bookshelves in the near future. #bookwormproblems