Saturday, September 27, 2014

Esoterica VIII: Four Noble Truths of Used Bookstores

Bit of a change here as I'd like to do some things other than just reviews for the blog.

Being an avid reader, I've spent a crap load of time in used bookstores.  If there is a heaven, and if it is tailored to the needs of each individual, my version would probably feature at least one used bookstore.  In light of the rather remarkable amount of time I've spent in them, I've come to realize several truths about them.

1.  There's always room for Congo

When the movie came out in the summer of 1995, there was a "making of" book, as tends to be the case with potential blockbusters.  Since 1996, virtually every single used bookstore I have been in has had at least one copy of this.  I've looked in it, and to be frank, I can see why this is the case.  Chances are that any person buying this book probably looked at it once and then muttered to themselves "What the hell did I do this for?"

2. Space might not be the final frontier

 You will always find tons of paperbacks which is always good if you prefer to have a few dollars left to your name when you leave, and you can always find tons of old Star Trek novels.

 Usually they will be the ones from the late 80's and early 90's when the franchise was running strong.

 Incidentally, this one is one of the best TNG novels, any time you get that crew going against The Borg, it's good times.

2a.

 Funnily enough, you can usually find less Star Wars stuff for some reason.  Not sure why, really.

3. It's always easier to try new things for less than three bucks

I'm a big horror fan but for some reason, the only writer I really read for the longest time was Stephen King.  Now granted, part of that is because his average novel runs about 700 pages and I have other stuff to do during the day but that's really not much of an excuse.  Thankfully, I feel $2.50 is a perfectly reasonable price for a forty year old horror novel which brings us to the above book.  Shadowland by Peter Straub is a fascinating, creepy tale about two students at a hellish private school (aren't they all?) who find terror not only in the course of an average day at school, but also at the home of one of the boy's uncle who is an evil wizard.  Straub does a fine job drawing his characters in rich detail and if there is a flaw, it is that the stuff at school during the first half is far more creepy and unsettling than anything supernatural that goes on in the second half.  Maybe it's just that I'm a middle class dude.

4. Sometimes you can find exactly what you never knew you wanted

This is one of my favorite purchases of all time.  Pretty rare, it's an on the set journal of the making of The Empire Strikes Back, along the lines of The Jaws Log.  Tons of interviews, some nice photos and you get a real sense of what an absolute ball breaker of a job it was to get the movie to the big screen.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.