A man was deplaned after he got angry at all the Christmas greetings at New York LaGuardia Airport. Though I’m not that extreme, I could understand his frustration. I have avoided all the Christmas madness. The only holiday thing I did was to get together with my “orphan” friends for a meal. Malls and shops I had nixed. Yesterday I spent all day at the used bookstore treasure-hunting.
The beauty of used bookstore is that you can find books that are long have been out-of-print. It’s a tunnel to the past—to books that were read before I was born, to when there was a war going on. Other than this little list of great books written in the 20th century, I was browsing with the liberty of having no engagement for the day. All the fiction is against one wall. Many times stare at me: Drury, Dickey, Cain, Amis, Murdoch, Rhys, McCarthy, … At the end of the day I picked out the ones I have always meant to read but have not had the luck to find.
I don’t mind used books as long as they are not completely brittle and tattered. Sometimes I am left with no choice if the little pocket paperback that’s been taped three times over is the only copy of the book I’m looking for. A lot of great books by unheard-of authors are only available used, and some have cracked spine and loose pages. A book is book, it’s meant to be riffled, turned, and read. The sorry condition of these books make me happy that at least they were once read. They were things of the past.