Monday, February 23, 2009

Cheap Date in the Wild West

Although there have been beautiful days this February, we’re all longing for the end of winter. There’s no snow, but there’s a bone-chilling, tree-shaking wind which stupefies, induces headache, and creates the creaky impression of a haunted house. Duvets, shawls, scarves, and afghans drape every piece of furniture. Time to bring out the cocoa...

But the important thing is to KEEP WALKING. Gotta conquer the outdoors! We boldly walked the trail yesterday clutching our independent coffeehouse paper cups, huddled in puffy coats with hoods, battling the wind (“It’s at our backs on the way home.”).. Only the intrepid walked the trail: a few gloomy dog-walkers, a rosy-faced bicyclist in a face mask riding 100 miles an hour to keep warm, and one crazy runner in shorts and a t-shirt.

Fortunately the frosty walk ended at a used bookstore. We hadn’t been here in quite a while and were happy to see the stock had changed. There was lots of Updike on the sales rack, as well as Daphne du Maurier. I longed for a Pocket Book copy of The Glassblowers , but it was falling apart. "Why do you want that?" my other half asked. I found a copy of Wyndham Lewis’s The Vulgar Streak (completely unknown to me, but in one of those beautiful Black Sparrow Press editions) and Delderfield’s To Serve Them All My Days, a long novel about a World War One vet who has to adjust to teaching in a remote English boys' school - lots of class issues. Inspired by a Masterpiece Theater production, I read this years ago. And even if I don’t read either of these books, it was fun to browse and was basically a cheap date.

If only there were more used bookstores in town...but we have to drive 200 miles to the next one...

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