Monday, February 15, 2010

I didn't use a torn photograph, that's a pile of snow right foreground

If plants are my favorite things and they are, books come in second. Cabin fever set in Saturday, and a trip to the Montgomery County Friends of the Library Bookstore at the Wheaton Branch seemed like a good plan. I love this store. Many Library's Friend's Groups have opened small to medium-sized used bookstores as a way of both raising money and helping to expeditiously deal with the overstocked  volumes in their branch. Donations pad the inventory, prices are low, and its a good way to recycle books, magazines, records.... This is a megastore, The store at Beltsville Library is about 600 square feet and I'm going to guess this one is at least 10 time that size.

There was a time when I wanted to operate a used bookstore. I accumulated boxes and boxes (>100 Boxes) of "inventory" and researched retail spaces. I planned and dreamed but then these Library stores began to appear and then Amazon consolidated 1,000s of small retailers and the venture, in my mind, didn't seem like it could succeed. But this store is great. I always check their "Mystery" and "Poetry" sections. This trip I found a large volume of the collected poems of Howard Nemerov. I'd only previously read him in anthologies and was excited to find this book for 2 dollars. He's very readable. I've always had this odd perception that he sits poised somehow between Dylan Thomas and Bob Dylan. Anyway, the woman who checked us out had an interesting story about him. She had gone to a reading he'd given, I think she sad at AU, and he had been annoyed that she asked him to sign a book she had received as a gift because the giver had inscribed the front endpaper. Nemerov gruffly opined that that was "his page." You don't always get a good story but you can always find good book for just a few dollars. 

I took a quick snap of the Gardening Section. It was a little thin Saturday; I expect I wasn't the only gardener seeking vicarious relief. I have, in the past found some wonderful books in this section; I don't remember ever paying over 4 dollars. Sometimes I see a book that I already own but for a dollar or two, I can't help but buy it. I bring them to work and give them away.

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