I’ve Struck Gold in Book Purchases and Acquisitions This Past Week

I blogged about Pulpfest earlier, where I was so proud to buy a Pocket Books paperback of Woolrich’s The Bride Wore Black for $12.  Pulpfest–and the rest of that insane weekend–took precendent over my other fine book purchases.

A week ago Saturday, I was down at Central Point, one of the few times I have been down there since moving from The Bottoms.  I had to go down there to pay a bill, and, to kill time before the next bus toward downtown and Clintonville, I stopped in the Ohio Thrift Store.  Their book selection is usually pretty pathetic, but I had a rare find that morning.  For about $3 (including sales tax), I bought The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes–a fair reproduction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes short stories, illustrated by Sidney Paget, shown as they originally appeared in The Strand.  It included 37 short stories and the serialized appearance of The Hound of the Baskervilles.  I was overjoyed to get this, because I had long ago lost the copy that I had bought when I was in high school.  I had saved my own lunch and milk money change–religiously dumping the coins into a Ball jar on my desk–and ordered the copy from Publishers’ Central Bureau (an outlet and remainder mail-order company) the minute I had saved enough.  I kept it on my desk–it was redbound with gilt-edged pages; one of my friends said it looked like an altar Bible.

When I went to another thrift store the next day, I bought a large red blank book–a journal or album–which I will put to use for my own writing, poetry, etc.  (I’m pretty wedded to using black-covered composition books to maintain my diary these days.)  I also bought an Ohio State spiral notebook and a 2009 pocket-sized appointment diary.  Grand total: about $2.  The red journal’s previous owner was apparently a teenaged girl named Shannon, judging by all the Cupid and angel and hearts and flowers stickers pasted inside the front cover and first page.  Much more curiously, two or three pages have been torn out of the front.

After church Sunday, I was pleased to see there was a book giveaway in Fellowship Hall.  Our friend Joanna did quite well.  Her most impressive find was a 1902 edition of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.  It was in such good condition that I thought it was a reproduction of the original book, like the fair facsimilies of Shakespeare First Folios.  But I was wrong; it was printed in 1902.

I came home with a handsome one-volume edition of the novels of Jane Austen (for Steph), and for myself The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity, by Talmudic scholar Hyam Macoby; and Bishop John Shelby Spong’s Why Christianity Must Change or Die (not that you asked, but I’d be happy with either).

There was supposed to be a torrent rainstorm, complete with thunder and lightning, tonight, but it never materialized.  I pulled up the National Weather Service’s radar on my computer at work, and it was lit up like a Christmas tree all the way to the Indiana border, and it was spitting rain a little when I came home from work, but that’s as far as it went.


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