Wonderful Worlds Of Pre-loved Books

Used bookstores are comforting, homey, and endearingly shabby; yet at the same time they are mysterious.  You never know just what you'll find, and questing through the shelves really does resemble a treasure hunt.  (I mean, let's be honest... Who of us hasn't secretly dreamed of happening upon an old, scholarly tome of obscure knowledge pertaining to a favorite area of study?  Or maybe a fascinating leather-bound volume offering a door into a stranger's interesting life, or into a new world altogether?)  I understand that it can be difficult to find one certain book in used bookstores- and for that reason I am infinitely grateful for online used book sellers, like Abe Books and Powell's Books- but one of the wonderful things about used bookstores is that you find so many prizes that you never even thought to look for. 

I like to call used books "pre-loved."  They seem to have characters of their own, and tell more stories than the words printed between their covers.  The names, notes and bookmarks that one sometimes finds add personality and zest.  I love finding inscriptions and notations- their like little scattered leaves of someone else's life... Like tiny mirrors for scrying into the existence of someone who, through the pages of a book, has become connected to oneself.

I love the sights, smells and feelings that used bookstores offer.  Add to that the joyous excitement of finding a new treasure, and it is easy to see why they are- in my opinion at least- one of the most wonderful places on imaginable.  How could anyone disagree?

WildMagic WildMagic
26-30, F
16 Responses Feb 19, 2010

LOL... It could be worse. I'm a bit of an insomniac, and I can never sleep when the moon is full. Go figure. <br />
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I'm afraid I'm a much bigger mystery reader than romance reader. I've never been a great fan of the romance genre in general, and other than a few classics like Pride and Prejudice, which are arguably romances, I don't read many of them. I'm the same way with movies, actually, and the only romantic films I really like are things like Elizabethtown, Almost Famous, Dear Frankie, and Amelie. In other words I only like romantic storylines that are outside of the realm of typical romance.<br />
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Yeah, I agree the melting puppets in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were kind of creepy. It was also really funny, though, especially watching the other characters' reactions. It sort of fit with the book, too. All of Roald Dahl's books are a little dark.<br />
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Have you ever read "The Time Traveler’s Wife?" It's one of the few romantic novels I really liked.

LOL... It could be worse. I'm a bit of an insomniac, and I can never sleep when the moon is full. Go figure. <br />
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I'm afraid I'm a much bigger mystery reader than romance reader. I've never been a great fan of the romance genre in general, and other than a few classics like Pride and Prejudice, which are arguably romances, I don't read many of them. I'm the same way with movies, actually, and the only romantic films I really like are things like Elizabethtown, Almost Famous, Dear Frankie, and Amelie. In other words I only like romantic storylines that are outside of the realm of typical romance.<br />
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Yeah, I agree the melting puppets in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were kind of creepy. It was also really funny, though, especially watching the other characters' reactions. It sort of fit with the book, too. All of Roald Dahl's books are a little dark.<br />
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Have you ever read "The Time Traveler’s Wife?" It's one of the few romantic novels I really liked.

Well, writing is like anything else... While talent is certainly important, the most vital thing is practice. Most people think they can't write, or at least can't write well, until they try it several times. The trick is to get beyond the insecurity that plagues new writers, and muddles their minds. I like Tom Bird's method, which I sometimes use when I have writers' block. Just go somewhere quiet and dimly lit. Light some candles and a stick or two of incense, and find something visual that inspires you. (This can be a painting, a figurine, or almost anything else.) Turn on some soft, relaxing music, get out a notebook of <i>unlined</i> paper, and just start writing. Don't stop to think about what you're writing. Don't even worry about what your hand writing looks like. Just let ideas spill out onto paper. It may take several tries, but sooner or later you'll find yourself writing without reservation. You may also be surprised how good some of the results are.<br />
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I have not yet read any of Georgette Heyer's books, though someone has suggested "The Unfinished Clue" to me. I'm told her mysteries are very good. I keep meaning to pick one up some day.<br />
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Have you ever read Elizabeth Kostova's novel "The Historian"? It's a really awesome book, and I was completely thrilled when I found out it was being made into a movie. I'm really excited about the Hobbit finally being filmed, too. I've always thought that maybe one of de Lint's novels would make an awesome move. Maybe The Wild Wood or The Onion Girl.<br />
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Speaking of Charles de Lint, I love Moonheart, too! (Of course, to be honest, I pretty much love all of his books.) It's such an interesting story! And the fact that Taliesin sounnds so kind and handsome is also a plus. Have you ever read the sequel to Moonheart? I believe it's called Spiritwalk.<br />
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I have to disagree with you a little about Johnny Depp's portrayal of Willy Wonka... I thought it was pretty good. Not totally cheerful, like in the book, but certainly childish and unusual, which fit's very well with the character Roald Dahl originally wrote. In my personal opinion, it was in the very least far better than the goofy, slightly irritating Gene Wilder rendition. But that's just the way I feel about it. I know some people greatly prefer Gene Wilder's Wonka to that of Johnny Depp... I just think Depp is closer to the book. To each their own, as they say. : )

Was the Charles de Lint book with the harpist called "Moonheart?" It's about the famous Celtic bard Taliesin and a modern day girl who is being stalked by Tal's demonic rival. Or was the book called "The Harp of the Grey Rose?" That one has a female harp pla<x>yer in it.<br />
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It's a pity you can't buy Charles de Lit's books where you are. Of course, you could probably order them online someday. There are some really good online used book stores, like Abe and Powells, where you can find books pretty cheap. The shipping might still be pricey, though...<br />
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I do like Stardust, both the book and the movie, as well as Coraline. I don't recall Gaiman's book about the underground, either. Of course, I haven't read everything by Gaiman, so I may not have ever read that particular one.<br />
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I agree that a properly done Terry Pratchett movie would be awesome. I actually own the Hogfather on DVD, and I agree that it's pretty good, and rather cute, but a little cheesy. Especially Death's costume. Of course, to do Death right, you would have to either use a combination of motion capture and computer graphics-- like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies-- or you would have to play off of the fact that Death often appears like a "tall, pale man" to people in Pratchett's books and have him played by an actual actor. The whole skull mask thing just doesn't really work. I also agree that Angelica Hutson should have a part in some sort of Pratchett movie-- she was just made for it!-- and I have to say that I thought the girl who played Susan did a pretty good job. I didn't like the guy who played Mr. Teatime, though. He seemed goofy rather than creepy.<br />
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Along that same topic, have you ever read a book and thought to yourself: "Wow, someone really NEEDS to make a move of this"? There are a few books I've felt that way about, and I've even thought about casting choices for some of them. It's a wonderful waste of time, and a great distraction while doing monotonous chores like washing dishes.<br />
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Far from having permanent writers' block, I'm afraid I'm a bit of a writing addict. I've been writing since I was five-years-old, when I wrote my first (very poorly styled) story. I don't remember all the details, but it was something about a unicorn, a talking bear, and a magical crystal. LOL. The spelling was terrible, and the grammar was bad enough to make an English teacher weep, but the creativity and freedom of ex<x>pression made me feel half drunk. I was hooked. I've been writing ever since that day, and my skills have thankfully improved a great deal, though I still have next to nothing published. Oh, well... Maybe someday. In the meantime, I keep trying to hone my style to the the best it can be. I've actually posted a couple of pieces of a short story on Good Reads and EP so that people can give me feedback, and help me improve my writing.<br />
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Have you ever read Holly Black's books Tithe, Valiant and Iron Side? Somehow talking about both Charles de Lint and a Neil Gaiman book set in the London Underground reminded me of them. They're slightly on the Young Adult side, but they're very good.<br />
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I've been on EP for about six months, so I'm not totally new, but I'm not an old hand either. LOL, If you have any questions, I'll gladly try to answer them, though.

I love both Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett! I especially like Anasi Boys, American Gods, Good Faeries of New York (which Gaiman co-authored) and Prachett's Death Series. (Reaper Man, Mort, Soul Music and The Hogfather.) Carpe Jugulum and The Color of Magic were really good, too.<br />
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I think my love for the Death books comes from my interest in mythology surrounding the Celtic god of death, known as Cromm Cruach, Crom Dubh, and Arawn. I'm not morbid or anything, he's just a really fascinating character. <br />
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What about you? What are some of your favorite Gaiman and Pratchett books?<br />
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YAY!!! I'm always so glad to meet other de Lint fans. In my humble opinion, his works don't receive as much attention as they deserve. I really enjoy his books, and I absolutely love The Wild Wood, The Onion Girl, and Someplace to be Flying, as well as many of his short stories. Do you have any favorite de Lint tales?

My reading choices are somewhat similar to yours. I also dislike heavy, depressing drama in books and movies. (Personally I think the people who really enjoy that sort of thing just don't have enough drama in their own lives.) My favorite genres are Mystery-- I love Rex Stout's "Nero Wolfe" novels-- Fantasy-- especially J.R.R. Tolkien's works and magical realism like Charles de Lint's books-- and what I like to call Wilderness Adventure Nonfiction-- A Walk in the Woods and Encounters with the Archdruid are two favorites. I read a little romance, but it has to be paranormal romance and it had to be very well done. (I can't stand poor writing and uninventive plots.) I also love studying mythology, especially Celtic mythology, and read a lot of stuff by Joseph Campbell, Miranda Green and Peter Berresford Ellis. <br />
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I suppose Joseph Campbell's books are some of the most life changing I've read recently. I absolutely love his work! He collected myths from around the world, clearly aligned them into similar mythic themes, and uncovered the primeval human psychology that fuels them. Reading his books is like opening a window into a part of my soul I didn't even know existed, and it always makes me feel an incredible connection to generations past. It also never ceases to amaze me that a thousand years ago the exact same myths, archetypes and ideas existed among such different peoples as the Celts, Japanese, Germans, and Native Americans. It really makes one think about how, despite differing cultures and such, when you get down to it, we're all just humans at heart. I suppose Joseph Campbell was the writer who most influenced me when I decided to pursue mythology as a serious study.<br />
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Beyond that I also read some motivational-- or rather self discovery books, and some of what I refer to as Girly Fiction. One of my favorite Self Discovery books thus far is Women Who Run With the Wolves, and some of my favorite Girly novels are Memoirs of a Geisha and The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I also read a lot of classics. I guess you could say I'm an all-around bookworm. LOL.<br />
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I know what you mean about motivational books. Some of them are utterly dull bull crap. They either try to press readers into a single, preordained mold, or they state obvious things as if they should be ground-breaking news. I like books that make me think, that open my eyes to things inside myself, that gently lead me to explore my own soul rather than telling me who I should be, and, above all, that are interesting to read.<br />
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I do like short stories, though I haven't read any of Guy du Maupassants' before. I'll have to check some out. I wonder if there are any translated into English? I spoke French pretty well as a little girl, but I'm afraid I've become very rusty. : ( I really out to take classes when I finish studying Latin.<br />
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Have you ever heard of Good Reads? It's an online community for book lovers. You might enjoy checking it out sometime. There are hundreds of online book clubs, a section for blooming authors to post works-in-progress, and a ton of discussion groups for different genres and authors. It's also a great place to explore new reading material, and get reviews from other readers.<br />
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Do you write as well as read?

LOL! That's okay... Off topic threads are sometimes the best. I know what you mean. I don't understand why some people insist on pretending to be someone they're not while seeking a lover or spouse. If you feel like you have to be someone else to get along with a person, how can you possibly expect to build a happy, healthy relationship with them? It's insane. One of my acquaintances was like that, and apparently the man she married was too. They got married after dating for only four months or so, and ended up getting divorced before they had been married one year. It was really sad. Shortly before they divorced, I overheard my friend's husband tell her: "You're just not the same person I married." Truthfully, she was exactly the same as she's always been, she'd just been pretending to be someone different. After they divorced, she told me: "I'm SO glad I don't have to pretend to like wrestling any more. I really hate wrestling." I couldn't help thinking: Well, then why the hell did you pretend to like it in the first place? At least her second marriage has been much better.<br />
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Wow, it was pretty rude of your ex-husband to react that way... I mean, most guys complain that their wives don't show enough interest in their jobs or their hobbies. You were only trying to give him some useful information and find a common interest to talk about. Go figure... Sometimes I don't think I'll ever completely understand men.<br />
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Oh, well... Back onto the subject of used bookstores, what are some of your favorite books to read?

I'm currently dating one of those types. (Well, we're actually friends with benefits, I don't do the whole "date" thing because I believe that the best love grows out of friendship. Besides, I hate it when you meet a guy, and he nervously tries to impress you and be someone else. I like it when my lovers and myself can just be relaxed and natural.)<br />
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Anyway, for a lot of rennies, chivalry and such is pretty much second nature. They always open the door, help you with your bags, and things like that. I even had one who actually bowed to me whenever we met! That's pretty rare, though. This is not to say that you'll never meet a rennie jerk. They certainly exist. I think you're bound to find jerks, mooches, trolls and unattractive people in any group, and rennies are no different. It's just that the good to bad ratio among guys is significantly higher.<br />
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Tights... Well, most rennie guys only wear tights if they absolutely HAVE to... I'm told their terribly uncomfortable. So that's not really a big concern.<br />
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LOL! Actually, my first serious lover had the most gorgeous, silky, waist-length black hair. He had deep blue-- almost indigo-- eyes, too, and being around him always made me feel a little plain and insecure. He was a manly-man type, yet he was way prettier than me. Now I ask you, is that really fair? Hahaha! I used to joke with him, saying that if he ever went crazy and cut all his hair off, I would glue it to my own head. After I got through crying over him cutting his hair, of course. LOL.<br />
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You might want to get online and see if there is a Renaissance Faire in your home country. They exist in a lot more places than just Britain and the U.S. I know there are some in Greece, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden and many other nations. They're a lot of fun, and if you've never been to one, you really should try it-- and not just for guys. You'll probably fall in love with Ren Faires like I did. If there's not one in your area, you might want to look into Faerie/Fairy/Fantasy/Elven festivals, which are quite similar in a lot of ways, are also a lot of fun, and tend to attract the same sorts of people. Then there's also the SCA- Society for Creative Anachronism. I know for a fact that they have at least one kingdom in nearly every country around the globe.

Mwahahaha! Mine all mine!.. lol. "Rennie" is a term for a Renaissance Faire worker or regular, so I suppose they would be a bit more along the lines of the Prince Caspian types. Sort of like the knights you see at Medieval Times-- only for Rennies it's more than a job, it's a way of life. The only thing better than a guy with long hair is a guy with long hair, newage sensibilities, chivalrous manners, an awesome period wardrobe, and muscles to prove he's learned to use a plethora of old-world weaponry. They're not all like that, of course- you get your pudgy gamer types too, though they're still ofter cool people- but a Ren Faire is a great place to meet awesome men. When you go back onto long haired guys, you should visit one. LOL. ; D<br />
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Don't worry... We're not completely ogling cheerleader types until we begin giggle incessently, start every other sentence with "Like," and subscribe to one of those irritating teen magazine that are 20% celebrity worship and 80% advertisements. Besides, I won't tell anyone we're being silly and girly if you won't. LOL.

Hahaha! Accidental aim! That's happened to me a few times, like that time I <i>accidentally</i> hit that jerk guy in the pants with a soccer ball during high-school gym class. Happy times... LOL.<br />
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Yes, we must defend the couches from the Cruise fans! It's a good thing that the Metaphysical shop is likely to have a few swords. (Most shops of that kind tend to include some fantasy paraphernalia, Celtic/Newage CDs, and swords.) The crystals, herbs and other items will be useful, too... We could set up a magical barrier to protect our couches from anyone who likes watching mediocre actors crazily jumping about on furniture on national television. LOL.<br />
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Maybe we could even hire some nice, long-haired Rennie guys to be our Sacred Order of the Guardians of the Couch. LOL! The rest of the time they can just stand around and look charming. ; ) (Sorry, I have a thing for guys with long, well-kept hair. Long, ratty hair is horrible, but long, sleek hair is fantabulous.)

Oh, yes! A chocolatier/cafe/used bookstore! And in order to preclude the Dirty Dancing/Twilight types taking over the place, we'll also add a metaphysical/magical shop. That way we'll be more inclined to get artistic, open-minded, alternative types rather than cheerleader types. LOL.

Well, perhaps I'll keep the pets at home, then. I'll make a deal with you, there won't be any dogs or cats in the shop as long as the shop isn't up high. (My phobia happens to be heights. Anything above a second story makes me feel dizzy and slightly nauseous.) : )

How about a non-allergenic cat and a bookstore dog? It would have to be a big, good-tempered and well-trained dog, though... I don't think I could stand trying to read while a little, high-strung dog yipped endlessly. Maybe a German Shepherd, or a Wolf Dog.

Wow! That sounds like a wonderful place! All it lacks is a library cat and a coffee pot, and it would be a sort of heaven!

University libraries are wonderful, too, aren't they? The one on my campus is three stories- well, four technically, but the fourth contains offices and conference/study rooms. Nonetheless, three stories of books is a beautiful thing! I have found so many great volumes on mythology, sociology, literature, and other interesting topics-- plus so many novels and short-stories! I could spend hours there, and I must be one of the few people who visits campus when I have no classes just so that I can read in the library. (I suppose now all I need is an Official Book Addict jacket. Join the club! Bibliophiles of the world unite!) :)

Wow, this is great writing. I always felt like I was treasure hunting in my college's library because it had so many old religious works. Not that I could have walked out with any of them,lol