Sunday, April 13, 2008

Of Used Bookstores and Bliss

I have been mourning my move to Chattanooga if only because I am no longer as close to my favorite place on earth, the Half Price Books store. It was the first place I found someone who would pay me for my collection so I could refresh my shelves with whatever subject was my current obsession. My last huge trade in was before my move from Lexington back to Long Island, and I let go of most of my economics, statistics, and political science/international law collection. I used my earnings to bulk up on books on goddess traditions, witchcraft, wiccan traditions, acupuncture, yoga and reiki. (It was one of those phases where I was exploring.)

I was told about McKay's used books (and various other stuffs) when I moved to Chattanooga, but hadn't made the time to go, for a number of reasons. I was busy. I didn't have the money. I was afraid what might happen if I loosed myself in a cheap bookstore when I have no room for additional shelves in my teensy apartment.

Today seemed like a good day to go, so I loaded up some boxes with books I couldn't see myself reading in the foreseeable future (my Harry Potters, which I've read, some Stephen Kings and Tom Clancys, a few pieces of actual literature like the Brontes - ugh, can't stand them - and Little Women, a boatload of paperbacks, and two large Jane's World War II collections). I still haven't been able to part with the last of my international relations and political theory collection, and I'm still holding out hope that I'll read Owen Meany and The Cider House Rules. I'm also not quite ready to get rid of my little occult section, nor to trim down my collection of cookbooks quite yet.

Anyway, I headed to McKay's with two carryable boxes of books, expecting them to give me about $20 or $30 that I could then spend without guilt on some new (to me) books of poetry. I browsed a bit and picked up more than I could afford, waiting for my number to come up to see my return value. Imagine my surprise when the guy said, "Cash or trade?", I replied "Trade," and he gave me a voucher for $135.00.

That's right. One hundred thirty five smackaroos. Needless to say, I dumped the books I had already chosen into a cart and headed back to clean out the poetry section of everything I was interested in.

My loot, you ask? See what I was able to bring home:

James Dickey: The Selected Poems

Czeslaw Milosz: New and Collected Poems 1931-2001

The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology ed. by Robert Bly

Loving in the War Years by Cherrie Moraga

The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry ed. by McClatchy

Committed to Memory: 100 Best Poems to Memorize

The Triggering Town by Richard Hugo (this is my 2nd copy so I can mark it up)

W.H. Auden: Selected Poems

Rudyard kipling's Verse: Definitive Edition (1939)

Perrine's 'Sound and Sense' - An Introduction to Poetry

Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West

Between Innocence and Peace: Favourite Poems of Ireland

The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry by Addonizio & Laux

Robert Lowell: Selected Poems

H.D.: Collected Poems 1912-1944 (Hilda Doolittle)

Poets Against the War

In a Time of Violence by Eavan Boland

The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke

The Cinnamon Peeler by Michael Ondaatje

World War One British Poets

Rita Dove: Selected Poems

The Other Voice: Essays on Modern Poetry by Octavio Paz

Transformations by Anne Sexton

Adrienne Rich, Poems Selected and New 1950-1974

Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot

The Open Boat: Poems from Asian America ed. by Hongo

Early Ripening: American Women's Poetry Now Ed. by Marge Piercy

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Orpheus and Company: Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology Ed. by Denicola

And I still have about $27 left on that trade-in ticket. And I'm already greedily glancing around for books I neither want nor need, though those pickings are getting slim at this point. I just found my new favorite weekend hangout. Score!

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