what I brought home

Book Shopping

All this book talk got me in the mood to go shopping, particularly second-hand book shopping. I needed to drop off some stuff at Value Village today so I thought I’d just run in and take a peek to see what they had. Almost an hour later, still in Value Village, I was standing with a small pile of books in my hands. Surprise!

What I brought home: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, which I’ve been meaning to buy forever and the beginning of which I feel I’ve read a million times standing by the shelves in various bookstores; Testament by Nino Ricci, because I absolutely loved The Origin of SpeciesThe History of Love by Nicole Krauss, which I read when it first came out and which I really enjoyed and would like to read again; and lastly, a book of translated (from the Czech) folktales called The White Princess, by Mária Ďuríĉková. I have always adored folktales and have French, Russian, Tibetan, and more collections of them on my shelves. This is a clothbound book printed and bound in Czechoslovakia, in very good condition, almost fine even, and the illustrations by Miroslav Cipár are totally awesome. I think they might be watercolour.

The White Princess, clothbound 1988

What I left behind, only because I think I can find better editions: The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories by Henry James (I gave my copy to my mom. Has anyone seen The Innocents, the 1961 adaptation of The Turn of the Screw? It’s creepy and I love it!); The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, which was one of my favourite books when I was a kid and which I checked out of the library countless times; Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde by RLS (nope, I still haven’t read this!); and The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, which has been on my list since I long ago copyedited a book that made a study of it.

From The White Princess

Sometimes I don’t know which kind of bookshopping I prefer. I’ve always really enjoyed buying new books and I imagine Biblio will be a new-book store. I prefer things to be organized, and to not have to take ages to sift through piles of books. I guess it depends on my mood, really. When I lived in Hamilton, my ex and I would map out all the second-hand shops and take a day exploring. The haul we’d bring in those days! The treasures we found! It was so much fun to pour over some of them in the cafés we’d stop in for a break or at home before putting them on the shelves.

I’m happy with my finds today and am eager to get reading. Have any of you read these books? What did you think of them?

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