Friday, January 8, 2010

New Books! (totally shouldn't have done this)

So tonight I went to my favorite place of all, Delicious (Tho a Bit Pricey) Little Hole in the Wall, and I had wonderful food and big glass of rich red wine, and I did what I usually do, which is take a bit of a walk rather than get in my car right away afterwards. This entails going round the corner to our local independent bookstore and looking around. I know, bad idea. I need to support our local bookstores like supporting our local crack dealers. I need to support our local places of employment and get a paycheck first so that then I can piss it away on books and things, right? Eh.

But the bookstore, as always, made me fuzzy and happy. (Wait, that might have been the wine. Mmm.) They have a huge selection of the classics and literature and new writing in the back of the store, which the front (lots of big cookbooks, mysteries, glossy travel books, large-print thriller novels) pays for. There are soooo many great classics that I feel like I should read. A huge selection of the Russians, for example, which I have almost no background in. And all sorts of familiar friends, except this place always has like 50 different editions and just seeing that on the shelf makes me happy. If I want a specific edition of Frankenstein I wouldn't even have to order it. (Not that I don't already have lots of versions of it, but anyway.)

But when I went in, they had a wonderful spread on one of the front tables that just warmed my little heart. There was some interesting stuff, like a graphic novel about New Orleans right after Katrina hit, a graphic novel about Nat Turner, and all of Marjane Satrapi's works, spread out in a little pile. (Now I am not actually impressed with Satrapi's drawing style, which I find clunky, but I do love learning about different cultures and the film version especially had a lovely wit that I appreciated, but I digress.) I was just talking to someone about how I love comics and visual art and graphic novels but I actually know nothing about them and have no background or learning from which I could teach them, but I do really like the idea of teaching about culture and history through these visual forms.

And this spread was right next to a book titled Why We Need Unions. Awww, little lefty bookstore, you are warming the cockles of my little lefty heart!

So of course I bought some stuff. Because it would be a terrible shame if this store went out of business and no longer tried to entice people into rebellion and unionism through cartoons. And I like the idea of positive reinforcement through purchases; they will know that their attempt to entice people to make impulse purchases about politically radical ideas worked, and that will hopefully encourage them to make such displays instead of ones about the cat who surfed or how to cook California fusion cuisine.

So along with some stuff in my time period (work books) and a collection of short stories (for I love short stories), I bought the Nat Turner book, by Kyle Baker, because I was intrigued by the fact that it was almost completely wordless, and the lovely illustrations that look almost like watercolors. (of horrific events, true. But very striking and savvy visually in a way that I like.)

I may not have any money or places to put these new books, but at least I have something new and exciting to read tonight! As opposed to all my old and unexciting unread books crowding the shelves over there. Eh.

(ETA see some of his amazing images over here.)

6 comments:

Susan said...

Sis, you realize that books left on your shelf long enough osmose into you? You can also put them under your pillow to absorb the content.

But I'm with you. I think it is basically illegal to walk into ANY bookstore, even an evil chain bookstore, and not buy a book!

Shane in Utah said...

I'm burning with envy right now. My pathetic excuse for a "college town" has only a very poorly stocked Borders, and a dusty little used book shop. And three or four Mormon bookstores, but those don't count, do they? I will say, though, that Borders had improved their graphic novel collection considerably the last time I browsed through it.

When I go to NYC or Cambridge or Chicago or some such place, I always spend a fortune on books (and CDs, but that's another story). Appreciate it while you have good shops close by, even if you can't afford to splurge right now.

pocha23 said...

Fun! The Kyle Baker book sounds really fascinating. Here's to supporting Little Lefty Bookstores. Were there cats. There are always cats. (At least there are up here.)

Prof. Koshary said...

I myself have learned through bitter (though diverting) experience never to browse a bookstore when I've been mellowed by alcohol. It's tough enough to act responsibly when I'm sober. But, as hangovers go, it's a pleasant one to wake up to find ten books sitting on the desk next to the stuff I actually have to read.

Sisyphus said...

@Susan, novels don't do that --- which is actually good, as reading them should be much more fun than remembering them.

@Shane, let me know if you need me to mail you random lefty books! I gots lots!

@pocha, there are *pictures* of cats on the logo and the window ... I haven't ever seen any real cats there. But there's this place in the city that has a Sphinx cat as their bookstore mascot --- and damn is it ugly!

@Prof Koshary, bookstore browsing while buzzed is even more fun than otherwise! Don't take away all my fun! And yes, I may regret it the next morning, but it's way better than waking up and puking.

Shane in Utah said...

Thanks for the offer. Amazon Prime takes care of most of my lefty book needs, when I already know what I want. (I do wonder, though, how anyone lived in places like rural Utah before Internet shopping came along...) What I miss is the browsing (and, at a place like St. Mark's Bookshop or Seminary Books, finding a half-dozen books I should own but didn't even know had been published).

Sigh.