Bookstore Blues

Went out today with the Little Woman to take care of a couple of errands.  She was particularly excited because she wanted to have lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, and since that was going to be her treat, I readily accepted.  Honestly, I don’t like to eat out much because there’s a part of me that feels that since I can cook, I should.  It also helps to remember that a decent dinner for two on the cheap can run as high as $40, and that kind of cash isn’t just falling out of the sky, folks.  But I like this place – theirs is probably the best Chinese food I’ve had (I say this as someone who isn’t big on Asian food), and they’re reasonably priced.  Another selling point for me was that the restaurant is near two stores of interest for me, so after lunch, I was able to do some peripheral shopping, as well.

Later, I went to a used bookstore.  I had no business being there, but I figured that I was out, so I might as well do everything at once, before heading home.  I always get into trouble in bookstores, used or not, because there’s little there that I don’t like.  I did try to find a Ross Macdonald mystery, but had no luck.  I should go back and reread Robert Parker’s Spenser series, because that character is cut from the same cloth as Macdonald’s Lew Archer.  In fact, I read the entire Spenser series as it stood up to the early 1990s, when my tastes changed and I began to read other authors, like James Patterson and John Sandford.  Definitely something to look into, but I’m debating as to whether I should start with the very first book, The Godwulf Manuscript (1973), or pick up from where I abandoned the series.  I’ll have to see what’s available first, I suppose.

Anyway, while in the bookstore, I found a set of books on World War II that I want.  These were recent arrivals, as they were not on the shelves earlier in the week during my last visit.  My conundrum was that I have a copy of the first book, but I couldn’t recall the edition.  There’d been a substantial revision between editions, and while this volume was pretty decently priced, I didn’t want two copies of the same book.  Worse, this version was paperback, while the one at home was hardcover; I couldn’t recall the cover design or publication date, either.  So . . . do I buy the book knowing that I may already have it, or do I risk leaving it on the shelves for someone else?  Of the other four volumes, only one was what I considered acceptably priced, so that was a definite purchase.  As to the others, time will tell.

After several minutes of fruitless thought and reasoning, I figured that I’d go with my gut instinct.  Oddly, that’s just what was printed on the fortune inside the fortune cookie from lunch:  Go for it!  So I decided: I grabbed the first book and the other and headed for the counter.  I’ll check on the other books; I might return tomorrow or mid-week.  If they’re there, I’ll give them some thought; if not, I don’t see it as any real loss.  As I walked out of the store, I was thrilled – two books, low cost, and I trusted my gut!

Well, you know that the first thing I did upon getting home was to pull my hardcover copy of the book from the shelves to compare.  They are different versions, but I’m sorry to say that my ‘new’ book turned out to be the first edition, whereas I’d already had the second edition on hand.  I’m tempted to return it tomorrow and point out what I’d done, but I’m not sure.  I know someone who’d be interested in having it, so I might just give it to him as a gift.  I should be disappointed, but I’m not; sometimes going with your gut doesn’t turn out well.  In any case, I have the second book, and that’s something.

I just need to quit buying books.

On a totally different note: Am I a bad person because I’ve been going to Pro Revenge Stories and laughing myself silly?  I’m not someone who’s into revenge or vandalism (both are pretty pointless to me), but some of these stories are amazing, if a little unbelievable.  Some of the language is out there, but I don’t think I’ve seen (or rather, haven’t yet found) material that’s NSFW.  Still . . .


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