Naughty, Naughty

I read an ad in the newspaper about a used bookstore that was going out of business. They were selling their books at $5 per bag. How could we resist such a temptation? Naturally, we went and we spent. Then we went back the next day. And I, along with my friend K—, went back again a third time.

At only $5 per bag, I could afford to get not just the obviously good books, but anything that looked even mildly interesting. And that’s what I did. The books were already somewhat picked-over and the place was a mess, but it was fun poking around. I still believe that there may be some overlooked gems in that store, so I may go back one final time later this week (alas for the GLP!).

Here is a list of the books (and tapes) that I bought…

  1. Paddington on Top by Michael Bond: My brother and I liked Paddington stories when we were young, so I thought this might be a good book for my son.
  2. The Curious Adventures of Jimmy McGee by Eleanor Estes: I have a book by this author on my “to read someday” list, so I thought I’d see if she’s any good.
  3. Alarms and Diversions by James Thurber: I don’t know why I keep buying James Thurber books. I just do.
  4. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell: I never read this when I was younger, but it seems like I ought to have, since it’s a Newbery winner.
  5. The Borrowers Afield by Mary Norton: I already have several books from this series, but I wasn’t sure if I had this one.
  6. Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau: I wanted a cheap copy that I could write in.
  7. The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter (a Dover Coloring Book): A “free” coloring book for my son.
  8. The Moon Lady by Amy Tan: Though the dust jacket is in poor shape, this copy is signed by both author and illustrator. I read another book by Amy Tan and enjoyed it, so maybe this will be an enjoyable read for my son.
  9. Anne of the Island and Tales of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery: I don’t know what possessed me, especially since I have heard that the sequels aren’t as good as the original. You just never know, though.
  10. Illustrated Reverse Dictionary: Because I didn’t already have one.
  11. Crooked House by Agatha Christie: The original price was 35 cents! Sadly, it’s crumbling and may not survive my reading it.
  12. Murder with Mirrors by Agatha Christie: A Miss Marple mystery and a lucky find, just in time for the Marplethon!
  13. The Floating Admiral by Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and G.K. Chesterton and Certain Other Members of the Detection Club: It was advertised on the front cover as “The most unusual mystery ever written!”
  14. BBC Radio Presents Thirteen at Dinner by Agatha Christie: This is a Poirot mystery done as a radio broadcast. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back, close one’s eyes, and listen to a story.
  15. Death in Berlin by M.M. Kaye: I think Kaye is a wonderful author, but I’ve been disappointed by her “Death in…” series so far. Hope springs eternal, however, and when the books are practically free, how can you go wrong? So I bought this and the two following titles and if none of them are good, then I will not waste my time seeing if there are any more in the series.
  16. Death in Kenya by M.M. Kaye
  17. Death in Zanzibar by M.M. Kaye
  18. Shadow of the Moon by M.M. Kaye: Because Kaye wrote so brilliantly about her childhood in India, there’s a chance that this novel, which also takes place in India, will be good. I am concerned, though, because the description on the back contains the phrases “whisperings of passion and intrigue,” “aching with need,” and “as long as the heart remembers.” Sounds sappy. Ah, well. I do like a good romance every now and again. Fingers crossed.
  19. Avaryan Rising by Judith Tarr: This is one of the silliest of my purchases, I think. It contains the first three Avaryan books. I already owned the first and fourth but was thinking of tossing them because I didn’t have the whole set. Now I have no excuse for not reading them.
  20. The Crossword Obsession by Coral Amende: This is “A book that all crossword fans should read to enhance their solving pleasure,” says Stanley Newman, editor of the Newsday crossword. So I have to read it, right?
  21. Agatha Christie: A Biography by Janet Morgan: This book represents one way in which I might stretch out the Marplethon should it become necessary.
  22. Agatha Christie: An Autobiography: I might as well get Dame Agatha’s life story in her own words. Another Marplethon stretcher, should it be needed.
  23. The New Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie edited by Dick Riley and Pam McAllister: A Christie reference book, because I obviously don’t have enough other Christie books. The previous owner must have been a serious fan, as there is a cutout of Hercule Poirot’s newspaper obituary tucked in the book. Extra free reading material!
  24. Gold and Silver Needlepoint by Maggie Lane: I have been interested in needlepoint since I inherited my grandmother’s sampler, so I thought this and the following title might be good to have on hand if I decide to do a sampler of my own.
  25. Sampler Stitchery by Jill Jarnow
  26. Victorian Crafts Revived by Caroline Green: I am on the lookout now for fun crafts to do with my son when he gets a little older.
  27. Granny’s Wonderful Chair by Frances Browne: Since reading the Blue Fairy Book, I have developed an interest in fairy tales. This is one of several books I bought because it is a collection of old stories.
  28. The Foolish Fox and Other Stories: Published in 1906, it’s in sorry shape, but it smells divine and it has some interesting old tales.
  29. Games for All Occasions by Mary E. Blain: Because I’m always looking for puzzle ideas.
  30. Pollyanna’s Jewels by Harriet Lummis Smith: I did not realize how many Pollyanna sequels there were until after I bought this, nor did I notice that this was written by a different author than the first book. I hope it’s not too awful.
  31. Stories from the Arabian Nights, Illustrated by Edmund Dulac: the tipped-in illustrations are simply gorgeous. I only wish it was one of the editions that contained more of the illustrations. Of course, those editions are worth a ton of money.
  32. The Merry Maker from the Young Folks’ Library: published in 1902, another book of old tales that smells just perfect.
  33. The Second St. Nicholas Anthology edited by Henry Steele Commager: yet another collection of old tales.
  34. Ghost Writer: A Puzzle Book by Christina Chiu: More puzzle ideas.
  35. Death’s a Beach by Beth Sherman: I was hoping to find some light mysteries. I am surprised that this is the only one I found. And that is why I will probably go back one more time, in hopes of finding a couple more.
  36. Hard Times by Charles Dickens: A classic.
  37. The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee by Paisley Rekdal: Great title. It just sounded fun, and when I opened it up to a random page, I enjoyed what I read, so why not?
  38. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving: Another classic.
  39. A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas: I am interested in finding Christmas stories to share with my son. According to the back cover, The Argus said, “It should become as much a tradition of Christmas as the wreath on the door and the tree in the window.”
  40. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson: A classic purchased with my son in mind.
  41. Folklore and the Sea by Horace Beck: I thought it might inspire me somehow. The sea usually does.
  42. The Sketch Book by Washington Iriving: An old book that just caught my eye.
  43. Fritz and the Beautiful Horses by Jan Brett: This book has beautiful pictures, perfect for a young child.
  44. Raoul Dufy by Claude Roger-Marx: It has attractive reproductions of Dufy’s work, and since it’s relatively worthless, I won’t feel bad about cutting it up and putting my favorite parts into a picture frame.

Total cost: $15

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