I finished Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Booklore by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone today. It wasn’t as good as their first one, Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World; their first one seemed to have more enthusiasm. I found myself skimming pages of this new one, where they describe a Sotheby’s auction or what Bloomsbury is all about; I just didn’t care. Many sections seemed to consist of advertisements for stores they frequent or restaurants they’ve been to. Their freedom to buy almost anything they wanted was annoying, too; they seem to have no budget problems, with their complaints about how expensive a book was coming across as superficial. It’s their insights into book collecting that was interesting: how dealers frequent library sales and every book fair in driving distance; how dealers’ prices vary greatly, but there are a lot of honest sellers out there; that you should collect what you like, not thinking books as an investment; about particular valuable books to keep an eye out for, such as those by published by Hogarth Press. There was a section about mystery-related books and how they’re collectable among dedicated readers, but they went on too long about an award banquet that few people cared about.
I recommend their first book if you’re a bibliophile, and their second only if you like their writing style and tendency to go on about subjects that isn’t directly related to books.
I’m going to read Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal next.
When I go to Costco I’m always tempted to buy books I haven’t read about but look interesting, when I see them there at their cheap price. For example, I saw 1421: the Year China Discovered the World there for less than 10 bucks. I don’t read much history books, but I seemed interesting as I started reading there. Then I thought my dad might like it. Then I thought I could sell them used on amazon.ca, probably making a profit. I didn’t buy it. Yet.
I recently finished A Shortcut in Time by Charles Dickinson. It was a page-turner with excellent characterization. Click the above link for a summary of the plot.
Here’s what I bought this morning (all prices are in U.S. As of Feb. 14, 2004, multiply the amounts by 1.32 to get Canadian dollars):
- Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schiosser. I got this at Costco for $7.99. I read a lot about it but was waiting to find it for a good price.
- Gap Creek by Robert Morgan, from Barnes & Noble for $4.98. This is an Oprah’s Book Club selection. That isn’t a bad thing now!
- River, Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke, from Barnes & Noble for $3.98. Another Oprah selection. So sue me.
- One More for the Road by Ray Bradbury, from Barnes & Noble for $5.98 ($26.57 at
amazon.ca!). This is a hard-cover, short-story collection with original stories. I’ll buy anything by Ray Bradbury.
- Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games by Laszlo Polgar, from Barnes & Noble for $9.98. I’ve been eyeing this one in bargain bins for over a year.
- Bookmarks magazine, "for everyone who hasn’t read everything". From their web site:
Our philosophy is to balance critical consensus with unique opinions. The New Books Guide included in every issue is created by studying all the book critic’s reviews appearing in major newspapers, magazines, and the Internet.