Saturday, February 6, 2010

Books Steal!

I am ecstatically happy and I mean jumping up and down-sugar bubbling in my blood streams-everything looks candy pink-feels like the first time I got my Johnny Depp Pin-up after watching Edward Scissorhands-and that someone could trip me and I wouldn't mind-kind of happy. I may not like shopping, but I think I have the same endorphins released amongst women whenever they buy something of great value. For me, I buy books and whenever I do, the feeling of rushed excitement and certified bribery always happen. But I especially like it if it's a STEAL. 260 bucks for three full novels written by three of my most favorite and trusted authors is definitely worth bragging.

After work, I was waiting for my ride when I decided to go to a second hand books shop in our nearby mall. I'm also planning to buy books this weekend and there's nothing wrong in getting a cheap head start. Bless Booksale and the like, which sell used books, magazine, coffee tables and text books around the metro. Not only that they provide better access to cheap literature, but they circulate the knowledge and the love for reading. In fact they are brave enough to continue their business knowing that their market is selected and their goods aren't something new when in fact it's even prone to aging. I've been to Booksales and other second hand book outlets a hundred times and I'm never the one to discriminate. As much as I love new books, there is nothing wrong in buying old ones. I feel like I've adopted works without having to bend my wallet just to increase and stuff my library. Besides, if you want to experiment on a new author, Booksales are good places to get some materials.

Booksales are also a treasure hunt. Some authors' works are very hard to find and it would take you money and time to order from sophisticated bookstores. Booksales or 2nd hand book shops are an ukay-ukay of great finds. You think why would people just throw away something that you instantly find valuable? Just like someone said, "another person's trash is someone's treasure."

Last week, I wanted to experiment on the books written by Marilyn French, Lucious Beebe and Eric P. Kelly. I followed the normal selection process in buying books of authors I'm not familiar with. I always read the summary, read a chapter or two, find that connection and look at the quality of the paper. After that trip, I bought three interesting titles called The Big Spenders, The Women's Room and the Trumpeter of Krakow. I have no idea how these three books would turn out with me, but amongst all the selections, these three have the strongest connection.

Today I found myself in Booksale again and began to browse without any specific intention of buying. That is until I saw Susan Howatch's book, The Glittering Images, in the middle of a pile with its book stem creased. I may not watch soap operas and I find them a bit crappy, but I do read Susan Howatch. She gives me an intelligent version of an intricate soap opera with settings and characters so rich that tv versions could not replicate. Her books are always about differences of relationships, sharp tongues, society, perceptions of god and nature. She writes relationships and its evolution minus the crappy and mushy parts. The first Howatch novel I read was The Rich are Different. It's a mini-encyclopedia-kind thickness, which plot has a 1920's Wallstreet for its setting. I remember getting hooked with it every lunch or breakfast time in the year 2003. After that, I began to purchase her other titles instantaneously. I also read her other works such as The Wheel of Fortune, Absolute Paths and Ultimate Prizes. I got one in the States but the rest were found in Booksales.

After my eyes caught Susan Howatch's book, my sight led me to see Clive Barker's Coldheart Canyon waiting to be read. Like Howatch, Cliver Barker is seldom found in leading bookstores bearing old titles. Most of my Clive Barker books were bought in booksales. Although I am aware of Neil Gaiman's work first, Clive Barker reserves a spot in my literary favorites list. It only dawned on me on some interview that I read about Neil Gaiman mentioning Clive Barker as his mentor. It figures, Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman have the same fearlessness in telling stories out of proportion and normality. Their imagination is amazing! The first Clive Barker novel that I read was "The Great and Secret Show," which I borrowed from my college library. How it got there, I had no idea, but it was fate. Reading that book was a challenge, a roller coaster ride, but fun. In the middle, I may not understand the metaphor behind the supernatural things, but it hooked me to the very end. With that book, I became his fan. The last novel I've read that he's written was Galilee and and I loved it. I've been eager to find a copy of Imajica and Weaveworld, but his books are hard to find even in booksales, so you could just imagine how happy and protective I was when I got his 2001 work Coldheart Canyon for 105 pesos.

Lastly, I got Death and Restoration by Iain Pears, also one of my trusted authors. Iain Pears has a knack of writing period literature that dapples on mysteries. In his works, you would imagine that behind the graceful story telling is a lot of research and meticulous thought. The first novel I read was Dream of Scipio when I went to the USA in 2004. I had to read it again because it was just so deep and metaphorical for me at that time. A lot of things were happening in the States that I couldn't focus. But once I did finish the book, it was exhilirating. Following my desire to read medieval mysteries popularized by Umberto Eco, I resulted to Iain Pears' The Instance at the Fingerpost. He hasn't failed me. I still have a book under my possession, The Raphael Affair, which I admit I have not had the time to read yet.

Three books, three different genres from my three favorite authors under 300 bucks was definitely a steal. It's enough to keep me happy and occupied for days. Looking at my steals makes me grateful that I have the time and resources to acquire them. It gives me pleasure to know that I would read them soon. As I look at my shelf, I know that I would have to arrange and re-catalog everything. My bookshelf is beginning to resemble like what a hurricane swept in, but I'd have to deal with that in another post. For now, it's time to get those plastic covers.

Happy Girl, Signing off.


Anonymous said...

$300 is a lot for 3 books!
i got 3 iain pears books - death & restoration, an instance of the fingerpost & the raphael affair for around $5!

opinionatedbanana said...

It's cheap. I got those in PESOS. 300 PHP. I got Susan Howatch, Pears and Barker for only 6 dollars.