"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dahl House

Some friends I know run a used bookstore and I don't get out to see them nearly enough.  They're great people, real booksellers, and I feel guilty for not seeing them more often.

Last week, our happy hour plans brought me within a block of their bookstore, so I ducked in to say hello. We caught up for about 15 minutes, but that didn't leave me any time to browse.  I promised to return in the next day or two, which I did.

Chris is a retired history professor and his partner, Paula, is someone I worked with almost twenty years ago at a local, independent bookstore.  They're both in their mid-70's, still sharp as tacks.  Paula doesn't just know first editions; she still remembers the names of my children and the city my ex-wife lives in.

She pulled me aside and showed me a very clean copy of Cormac McCarthy's The Orchard Keeper, an ex-library copy with only a minor flaw.  She and Chris paid a $1 for it, but they could probably get $1000 for it from a McCarthy collector.

They also showed me some lovely children's books, since they both recall my stint managing a children's bookstore in the 90s.  Paula remembers I have a stack of signed Maurice Sendak books, among other things.  

I love browsing used bookstores and I try to support them everywhere I go.  On the other hand, I already have a lot of books.  And, I'm cheap when it comes to spending money on myself.  

I browsed the books in the shop and carried around a relatively new David Mamet book I don't own (and Allan Sherman's autobiography which I do own), but put everything back and gave their vintage paperback rack a spin.

I finally settled on these two gems:  Roald Dahl's Kiss Kiss (Dell, 1961) and Newton Wilson Hoke's Double Entendre (Pocket Books, 1957).  

I have an early printing of the Dahl with no dustjacket, but I've never seen Double Entendre before and it looked like fun.  

It goes without saying that these two books smell terrific.

No comments:

Post a Comment