In addition to gift certificates for a record shop and antique mall, I also received, along with the each in the family, an ABC Books gift card. So we headed out yesterday to spend them along with a Barnes and Noble gift card the youngest had and a Visa Gift card for $25 of some unknown provenance that I found in my gift cards.
So we stopped at ABC Books and “talked with Val” for a little bit and then Vintage Stock to pick up a couple albums I spotted whilst Christmas shopping and Barnes and Noble.
Here are the books I got:
The haul includes:
- Sid Meier’s Memoir!. I got this at Barnes and Noble, not off the discount rack, but sales and remnants of gift cards (my youngest gifted me the remaining $3 on his after he bought a toy–to the boys, any place that sells toys or candy means the gift card will go at least 50% to the candy or toys). Given how much of my life has been given over to Sid Meier’s games–starting perhaps with Gunship on the Commodore 64 and up to Civ IV–which I still play too much–and onto Civ VI and Sid Meier’s Pirates, which I just installed on my Windows 10 box, and it runs, but I haven’t spent much time on it because, well, Civ IV–I thought I might as well buy his book as well. It cost a little over $10 after old gift cards were applied.
- Like the Pieces of Driftwood, a short collection of poems by Tom Francis. So I can keep my poetry reading going during football games–and short collections of poetry are less expensive than art monographs at ABC Books.
- Descartes in 90 Minutes by Paul Strathern, a short bit on Descartes.
- The Great Optimist and Other Essays by Leigh Mitchell Hodges, a 1908 collection that was misshelved in the Poetry section. To be honest, I didn’t look too closely at the contents. I figured in 1908, it would not be too modern, and I was kind of shopping on price.
- Pamela by Samuel Richardson, an early epistolary novel mentioned in The English Novel audio course.
- The Complete Poems of Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Dunbar was an 19th century poet whom I read about somewhere in the past. I bookmarked his Wikipedia entry a long time ago in case I wanted to write an essay about him. Maybe after reading this book. It’s a nice edition from 1970 with mylar over the dustjacket and a left-handed inscription to Ann Elizabeth Quinn from Granpa(?) Lucas. The book was priced $18.95, so I put it back when I first spotted it on one of my Christmas shopping trips. However, this time, with the power of a Christmas present gift card, I bought it.
Now, gentle reader, I want you to understand that I behaved myself pretty well this trip. I actually put a couple books back. For example, because I had a gift card and because the nice leather editions of books are often 25% or 50% off at ABC Books, I took a look at them first. I spotted Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, mentioned in the audio course The World of George Orwell, I picked it up. It was priced at $275. Even with a quarter off (“Honey! I saved $70 when I talked to Val!”), I could not buy it. It’s unusual, but I also put back a $10 boxed hardback copy of Tom Jones, also mentioned in The English Novel (in the same lecture as Pamela, if I recall) because I figured I should only buy them one at a time and maybe, I don’t know, read the books I already have before buying another. Besides, by the time I might have gotten to Tom Jones, I might have found some other bit of classical literature on my shelves already. Especially if Pamela disappears into my to-read bookshelves for years. Which might happen here in a minute when I take it off of my desk.
So look at me: I put some books back which should somehow represent virtue.
I don’t know if I have mentioned this, but I have a definite pattern of browsing at ABC Books: I look at the local interest, I go down the aisle to the martial arts books, might stop by the art monographs down the same aisle, and then I go to the poetry and philosophy section (which are right next to each other), and then down that aisle to the classical literature (a new stop after listening to The English Novel. If there’s an author in the front of the shop, I’ll pick up one of that author’s books, and then I will be done. So I do all this damage to my poor bookshelves in only two aisles, essentially.
At any rate, I am excited to get started on these books. I predict I will read probably 2/3 of them in 2021 if I don’t lose them. Which I very well might.