Sunday, April 12, 2009

Book Hunting

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My sister and I were supposed to buy a couple of swimsuits but we ended up spending more time hunting for books, instead.

After five hours in five second-hand bookstores, we were able to unearth these treasures: Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Voltaire's Candide, Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, C.S. Forester's The African Queen, Brian Morton's Starting Out in the Evening and James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential.

So why don't I just go to a normal bookstore and purchase the books I want? Because second-hand bookstores are more fun. The pleasure is not in immediately finding the exact books I want but in digging through all those piles of books and leafing through the many musty-smelling pages and then discovering the treasures within. It's the thrill of unexpectedly finding a book I've been looking for for a long time and haven't found till then. It's the joy of watching other book hunters so much more savage than I am that sweat profusely flows from their foreheads and invisible emanations involuntarily come out from some unknown origin in their bodies. There is nothing more sacred than to be surrounded with rows upon rows of books and a few fellow book hunters.

"Looked at rightly, the possession of any old book is a sacred trust, which a conscientious owner or guardian would as soon think of ignoring as a parent would of neglecting his child. An old book, whatever its subject or internal merits, is truly a portion of the national history." (William Blades, The Enemies of Books, 1880)


Anonymous said...

Dr. Pangloss said, "...for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end." Google was created for the best end, to find books , in few minutes, including Candide.

And “...invisible emanations involuntarily come out from some unknown origin in their bodies” is Panglossian gushing to some women and musty smelling pheromones to some men. :)

riky and nina said...

i need to buy some books - to fill up our new book shelves ha-ha.

Anonymous said...

I do that too. I think most people would if they had access to second hand book shops. You're lucky you have five to go to. Much better than swimsuits anyway!

Angeli said...

Hello Anonymous. Creation? I thought you are not a fan. :)

Hi there Nina. I just ordered another bookshelf myself. The one I bought last month can't accommodate all the books I have.

Hi Unstranger. I think most people would just order online. Saves them all the trouble. :)

Amelia said...

good for you Angeli that you were able to find books in a second-hand book store...worth the time and effort digging for gold:))not bad :)

witsandnuts said...

It's been ages since I got one from a secondhand bookstore. I agree that it's indeed challenging sorting through the books from there and finding the pieces which are hard to find. I don't see any secondhand bookstore here in UAE.

Kayni said...

and nothing beats the smell of an old, second hand book. i love browsing at second hand bookstores too. it's the excitement of finding something old, but when you start reading it, the story in it becomes a new adventure.

mordsith said...

i've been meaning to read Mrs. Dalloway. I like Virginia Woolf, the "insanity" in her stories. hehe.

btw, thanks for visiting my blog. let's exchange links, if you don't mind. :)

Angeli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angeli said...

Hi there, Mordsith. of course i don't mind. :) i've already added you to my blogroll. thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. :)

Too bad there are no such bookstores there, Jo. But you can always order online, huh?

Are there a lot of second hand bookstores near your place, Kayni?

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