01 June 2019

Library Lament

I love books. I love reading stories, both fiction and non-, and utterly miss having a library. I had a big library in the past, and a decent collection before leaving Hawaii. My library consisted of four major categories: science fiction and fantasy, historical, academia for research, and career-related (computer, web, managing, and marketing). Almost everything had a hardcover; which is why I had to let it go - too costly to ship. When I took all those books to Book-Off at Pearlridge, the clerks were firstly amazed, and secondly aghast.

So now I am lost, or feel that way. Somehow, a library grounds a person and gives them a permanent place. A library solidifies a person's presence in a way that nothing else can. Without a library, it is easier to just leave; with a library, you have to consider abandoning all those worlds. That is what it felt like when I took my library to sell off; it felt like I was abandoning all the worlds. It was heart-rending listening to the clerks rattle off minuscule prices for these treasures.

What Once Was

Book of the Dun Cow, Chronicles of Narnia (all 7 books), Hawkwind, several Oz books (6 of the 14 from the official canon), the Helliconia book series (all three), the Geodyessy series by Piers Anthony along with several of his Xanth books, large volumes of art from the Greeks, Tudor period, Chinese, Japanese (pictorial volumes), several collectible comic compendiums (namely Dawn and More than Mortal)... I can continue. 

Some of this I can reclaim easy enough, Amazon keeps very thorough records. But many were bought at stores in Hawaii - little crook and cranny stores that are now gone due to construction, rising rents, and progress. I had seven different bibles, one was printed in the 1920s and was a cherished volume. How I mourn the loss of my library!

The Reader's Corner

Just a small sample of the outside shelves,
which stay there all night, unmolested!
What brings this up is a friend drove me around Raleigh and took me to this little corner bookstore - literally - The Reader's Corner. The outer wall of the storefront is shored up with books, all kinds of books! I was a bit overwhelmed by the chaos of the display, but upon entering the shop - instantly felt at ease. The smell of books - their binding, paper, and ink - tickled my senses and said, "This is where you need to be!" Within seconds I recognized the organizational theme and was reminded of another book store I fell in love with, Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon. Reader's Corner is nowhere near as large, but it houses the same eclectic and chaotic nature with personal decor and touches dating back to the '70s, if not older! My senses tingled with joy as I walked through the aisles, fingertips lightly brushing the spins of all sorts of bindings. I felt at home.

With what little cash I posses, I picked out some volumes I'll be using for SCA research: A Medieval Family by Frances and Joseph Geis, Paddy's Lament by Thomas Gallagher, and both volumes of The Shorter Cambridge Medieval History which is in and of itself a find! Raleigh, being the home of NC State, with several other major institutions around (namely Duke), is a major college/university city. One would expect all sorts of books for academia - and this little store didn't disappoint. What surprised me was the collection of vinyl - all sorts of old-school records that I will have to pick through sometime.

To be honest, I was a bit rushed with this visit. My friend was quickly growing bored - I don't think she realized just how much of a bookworm I am. I made my purchase - a total of  $18.07 (Which honestly is damned inexpensive for these volumes! I'd pay that for just one of the Cambridge books!), and got $2 back in change - basically the cashier covered the seven cents. For some reason, I wasn't surprised - The Reader's Corner (henceforth TRC) being that kind of shop. Reminds me of Jelly's from back-in-the-day... and that there makes a girl feel right at home. 

This shop has earned a place on my permanent shopping list, that is for sure.

Time to Rebuild

So, between Amazon and TRC, I will be rebuilding my personal library. I can go back to my older Amazon orders and repurchase the books (hopefully at lower prices), and spend hours at TRC combing through the collections there. That is a sure sign of settling down - rebuilding a personal library.


If you want to help me repopulate my library, that Amazon button to the right goes to my personal wishlist and I made a list specifically for repopulating my library. *hint*