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I checked in at the Booking Through Thursday blog, which is the host for a weekly book meme or blogging prompt. Here is this week’s prompt:

What’s the furthest you’ve ever gone to get something to read? (Think extremes as well as miles—wrangling a ride from a stranger to a distant bookstore just to get the newest book from a favorite author?) If your absolute favorite author (living or dead) was coming out with a brand new book tomorrow, how far would you go, what would you do to get a copy?

I’m not desperate to get my hands on new books but I will go very far to find the books I really want to read. After The Painted Veil, I decided to peruse everything written by W. Somerset Maugham that I can find, but I had no luck in this country. Most bookstores carry the volumes of short stories. L.P. Hartley was another overlooked author whose works have not been released for decades. Publishers would spit out one rub after another George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm but totally neglected his essays and other non-fiction works. All these are available, in UK paperback editions, in bookstores in Asia, for roughly the same price. I’m not a fan of online book shopping, let alone giving my money to Amazon. I enjoy the tactile pleasure of book browsing in the bookstores. Also by shopping at the local indies the money will go back to the community. So even with the convenience of ebooks at my finger tip, even with online sales, I would bring my shopping list with me when I fly to Asia.

If I really need to hunt down a new book, a good place to try is the local library book store if I can find proofs. The Strand in New York City has a basement full of proofs and ARCs. The consignment stores are also great treasure haunts for out-of-print books. Costco has selected new titles at discounted prices.

One Response

  1. I actually just had a guy at Costco go retrieve a pallet of books from the back so I could get a copy of Mr. Mercedes! Beyond that, I always visit one small bookstore in Poland that carries English-translated books. There is a crime series written by a Polish guy that is really good but you can’t find them ANYWHERE over here.

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