New books, New Orleans edition

by , under books and reading

It’s too late for a blog post, but if I at least get it started now (Saturday), maybe I can finish and post it tomorrow. I got carried away by bookstores in New Orleans, and bought seven books — though in my defense, all were used books, and not necessarily cheap but reasonably priced. I found a number of other titles that tempted me, including a first edition of The Injured Party by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, which was ten dollars at Crescent City Books, but I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it since I already have it in hardcover and in a worn and well-loved mass market paperback edition. Seeing SFS books is always bittersweet: on one hand, I’m glad she’s out there for people to find, and on the other hand, I feel like I should be buying them because so few people know of her and read her books — like I need to “rescue” the book, and save it from languishing for however many additional months/years on the shelf, unknown and unloved.

But anyway, back to the bookstores I haunted and the books I did buy. I was so glad one of my librarian friends from DC, Amanda, had a couple of free hours between commitments and wanted to go with me to check out one or two of the stores. This was on Monday of SLA week, about June 14th. We went to Crescent City Books first, but the owner said he’d be open until 8 or 9pm, while Beckham’s Bookshop, only a block or two away, was closing at 5pm. So we went to Beckham’s for 20 to 30 minutes, until it closed, and if I go back to New Orleans someday, I’ll set aside a much longer chunk of time to browse there. They had wi-fi — I just had to ask for the password — so I pulled up my LibraryThing wishlist to see what I could find. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any of those titles in the time I had, but confirmed that I didn’t already have a copy of The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch, so I bought that.

5pm, back to Crescent City Books, though Amanda and I were both getting hungry and thinking of dinner, and she had tentative dinner plans with a few of our other colleagues. While we were in Crescent City, a thunderstorm moved in — the lightning and thunder even scarier on the second floor, where I was browsing, and Amanda was soon reading and resting on the sofa pictured at the bottom of this page. (I eventually sat down too; the storm kept us there longer than we’d planned.) The owner of Crescent City Books kept his store open later than usual, having heard librarians were in town, and not only was he appreciative when I brought him two books that were mis-shelved, he offered us glasses of wine, since we were there for the conference. He was awesome, his store is wonderful, and I highly recommend stopping by there. (Also, please check if the Susan Fromberg Schaeffer novel is still there, and if it is, please consider buying it!) Yes, I bought three books there, all poetry: Walking to Martha’s Vineyard by Franz Wright (which I’d read before, very very good), All the Poems of Muriel Spark, and Station Island by Seamus Heaney.

I already mentioned my Wednesday evening trip to Dauphine Street Books in my previous post. Since I didn’t take any pictures of the bookstores myself, I searched for photos of the inside of this one. I found a couple that show just how packed with books this place is. See this one from Flickr member vegetablesandwiches, and a few Picasaweb pix from user trustcate: here, and here, and then here. That last photo in particular will explain why I was thinking about my weight problems while I browsed this store. Seriously, the aisles were too narrow for two people to stand back to back and browse, and I’m really glad the store’s owner has a slender build. In addition to the Lydia Davis collection Almost No Memory, I bought Surfacing by Margaret Atwood, and a novel called Hell by Kathryn Davis.

Since I had a good number of new books, I decided to take a book stack photo to include here. The three other books in the photo are ones I bought at Hastings a few days before I went to New Orleans. As usual, I got carried away, but also predictably, I didn’t pay full price. The mammoth-size book on the bottom is The Passage by Justin Cronin, which I bought the day it came out for two reasons: once in a great while, I desperately want to own and read a book that’s new and “hot,” and my curiosity got the better of me on this one and I caved; however, I caved to the tune of $13.50, half off the list price of $27.00, and that amazing new release price for a book this size is the second reason I bought it. I really do hope to read it by the end of the summer. The other two were gently used books about books and reading, found in the bargain shelves for $2.99 each: How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen, and Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama, and Other Page-Turning Adventures from a Year in a Bookstore by Suzanne Strempek Shea.

It is late June, and the annual Friends of TSCPL book sale is in September, less than three months away. No more book buying bonanzas until September!

It is also late Monday evening, now, and I need to look this over and get it posted, make more preparations for our trip to Worlds of Fun tomorrow, and hope we can all get a decent amount of sleep before our busy day. Night, readers. 😉

© All the parts of my life 2008-2015.

  1. Sandy Brady

    Once upon a time I planned on owning a bookstore like these. I was going to have a German Shepherd companion who went to work with me every day and slept behind the counter. Then came Books a Million and Barnes & Noble to town and all of the independent bookstores closed…


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