I wanted to write a quick post to talk about something I love. I love going to used bookstores. There’s something about them that just calls out to me. The thrill of discovering a new treasured book is something that Amazon and Barnes and Noble can’t really mirror. Sure, you can discover new books there. But you know that they’ll have all the books you’re looking for. A used bookstore gives you the thrill of the hunt with the sweet satisfaction of victory. Maybe it sounds like I’m dramatizing it a bit, but that’s exactly how I feel every time.
I’ve added quite a few books to my “to read” list this year, most of these seminal works of science fiction I’ve never had a chance to read. I want to experience these stories and hopefully channel their creativity and influence into my own writing.
The top books I’m looking for are as follows:
Stranger in a Strange Land– Robert A Heinlein
I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
Neuromancer – William Gibson
2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
Hyperion – Dan Simmons
The Foundation Trilogy – Isaac Asimov
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K Dick
The Andromeda Strain – Michael Crichton
The Shockwave Rider – John Brunner
Starship Troopers – Robert A Heinlein
Today I went out hunting for some of these classics. My girlfriend and I went to three of the used bookstores in our town. I came away with this haul:
Of the list, I only managed to find the first two books of the Foundation Trilogy. The others were little treasures I couldn’t resist picking up. I’ve already read the Dresden Files books but never owned them until now. I’m also really excited to read The Forever Peace, a follow up to one of my favorite books The Forever War. I’m probably most curious about Joseph Heller’s Something Happened of all my finds today. I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about this book. Quite a few people think it is Heller’s masterpiece and a far better book than Catch-22. I’m really interested to see if there is any truth to that claim.
I was a little disheartened when I was unable to find any of the other books on my list. However, I understand that these are books that will always sell at used bookstores and timing is everything. I know that I could just go on Amazon tonight and have the books in two days. I love Amazon and use it for a lot of books. But for these special books, I want to have the thrill of discovering them before I have the thrill of discovering them. I want to open a well worn copy and smell the slightly weird yet intoxicating scent of a used book.
I think I might have to go to a few more bookstores tomorrow. All this talk of discovery is making me itch to go. Who knows what I’ll find?
Anyway, if you want to talk about used books or anything really feel free to send me a message or tweet me @left4turtle.