…And Again

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I am horribly afraid that this is becoming a habit. You all keep telling me I’m showing restraint, but spending $50 on books twice in a week really is a rare thing for me, and not something that I can sustain in the long run. At any rate, the sale was a total of 70%, and this time I fully intended to do damages. I drove 30 minutes each direction to a more rural Borders that was going out of business.

They had a much greater selection to choose from. Within 30 seconds of walking in to the fiction section, I found the volume of Adichie short stories and I felt my heart skip a beat I was so excited. Some sections of books were practically full: African-American literature, for example, had nearly a full set of Toni Morrison in paperback that I some how walk away from. How I wanted them all! So pretty!

I had at least 15 books in my arms at one point, and then I put some back so my total would not go above $50. My thought was to focus on the books I cannot get in the public domain and/or that I’ve already read and loved. So, back went the Theodore Drieser and Winesburg, Ohio. Back went All the Kings Men, which I’ve never read yet. Among other things.

Here’s what I ended up with in the end.

  • The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt (I loved Possession, even more on retrospect than I did when I first read it)
  • The Chosen by Chaim Potak (I loved My Name is Asher Lev, and I can’t remember if I’ve read this one)
  • A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid (inspired by Elena’s recent posts on post-colonialism)
  • Kindred by Octavia Butler (I don’t love this particular cover, but I did love the book! Now I have it forever.)
  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamamnda Ngozi Adichie (Oh my heart stopped.)
  • The Education of a British-Protected Child by Chinua Achebe
  • Ghost Stories (from Everyman’s Pocket Classics Library)
  • Sylvia Plath poetry (Everyman’s Pocket Poets)

The only one I have buyer’s remorse on is the Achebe. It’s essays and now I’m afraid I just won’t get in to it. Has anyone read it? It has high marks on LibraryThing, but I’m not sure how well I’ll do on political essays.

And then, I wanted to show my pretty bookshelves. I’ve been busy culling books I don’t want to read and frantically buying (ok, on a set budget schedule) the books that I do want. I realized after I finished taking the pictures and annotating them in Flickr that I had forgotten to shelve the books I had just bought. So after I took the pictures, I ended up shuffling books so they’d fit. Sigh. I love my books. I love organizing them, too.

See my flickr set for my bookshelves. I annotate them and you can zoom in to see the titles. If you are as geeky as me and you want to, that is.









Reviewed on April 5, 2011

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • Of course I am geeky and had to zoom in on your books!! Are you kidding??

    And I’m very amused because I got that Everyman’s Ghost Stories last year as a birthday gift (read all but one story so far, loved them); I have The Children’s Book unread on my shelf; I have another book by Chaim Potok (My Name is Asher Lev) unread on my shelf; and I’m going to read Kindred soon for a book swap with Amanda of The Zen Leaf. I have a couple of those pocket Poetry books but not Plath.

    I am very happy our Borders are not closing — I’d be sad if they were gone, and I know I’d go crazy buying books if they all went on sale! I was at Half Price Books today and was thisclose to buying A Dance to the Music of Time, Vol. 1. It was hard, who knows, I may go back and buy it later. Sigh.

  • Buying a book by Chaim Potok is always a good choice ;). he writes so well, I’ve read ALL his books, years ago, when I was back in France and working on improving my English vocabulary. A friend of mine brought me the only English books she had, they were all by Potok, then I read all the others. I was just a bit disappointed by Old Men At Midnight, his very last one, written shortly before his death. The style is different, that was not the great Potok I knew.

  • Life-long, never regretted money spent on books or tools. After 50, never regretted money spent on toys (loosely defined) either.


  • 1) A Small Place is incredible.

    2) How did I not know about Elena’s blog?! Thanks so much for linking to her postcolonial series; I’m reading through it now and just thrilled.

    (Also, I’ve heard great things about the Achebe essays, so don’t worry too much!)

  • I bought too much today, too! It’s become addictive. I came away with a bunch of classic poetry, Letters to a Young Poet, The Things They Carried, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Complete Sherlock Holmes, and a bookmark. 🙂

  • Wonderful choices! I haven’t read Asher Lev, but I can tell you, The Chosen is marvelous. It’s one of my favorite books. I reread it recently and have been trying to find words adequate to say how great it is. (No luck so far.)

  • Great choices. I told you on twitter that I went back again. But I promised myself it was the last time. I almost picked up The Children’s Book as well, but it was one of the titles I set back down. I did buy Winesburg, Ohio even though I know nothing about it. To be honest, I bought it because it was a Penguin edition and I love those black spines. How awful is that?

    I love seeing your shelves! It is fun to snoop. 🙂

    • Allie » I have heard great things about Winesburg Ohio, mostly because it’s about daily nothings in a small midwest town, which is just what I like. I like the pretty black spines too! I’m really hoping I love THE CHILDREN’S BOOK…

  • I went Borders a few weeks ago and tried to do the same thing — get books I’d read from the library or as ebooks that I wanted to have as real books. I only grabbed a few, but am going to go back sometime this week. It’s hard to stay away from book sales!

    Looks like you got some great ones. Enjoy!

  • Oh! I’m so sad you put back All The King’s Men. It’s one of my all-time favorite books – in fact I named it as such in Kim’s Triple Choice Tuesday yesterday! You really need to read it at some point so that you can rush out and buy a copy! 😀

  • I was at Borders on Sunday and had a great time, came home with a pile of books and my receipt said I had saved something like $75! Can’t regret the splurge. Opportuinities like that don’t come by very often.

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