Sunday, April 3, 2011

An Ode to Secondhand Bookshops.

So, I thought it was high time I dedicated a post to the haven of all literature and history lovers: the secondhand bookshop.  Is there one of us who can walk into a room full of dusty old tomes, ripped comic books, and back issues of Good Housekeeping without feeling that little thrill run through our innards?  Personally I skim over the comic books and Good Housekeeping, but I do know others who are as thrilled by them as I am by the dusty tomes.

Chewelah has, as do most small towns, its own particular gem in this area, made up of a deli in front and a wilderness of old (sometimes soiled or moldy and always dusty) literature behind.  I can never eat at the deli, because the old book smell permeates even the dining area and the atmosphere resembles a cross between a bad school lunch-room and your grandmother's closet.  However, I often go through to the back and spend a considerable length of time riffling through the clutter... for it's one of those delightful places with very little order and a goodly number of cardboard boxes.  I've found some of the best treasures in said cardboard boxes, particularly the ones under the "25 cent" shelf.  There I discovered copies of Thomas Costain's The Darkness and the Dawn and Elizabeth Goudge's Gentian Hill, among others.  Semi-forgotten authors, but none the worse for that.  It was through this place as well that I became familiar with the work of Anthony Trollope, and when you can buy Plato's Republic for a dollar it really seems a shame not to read it.  So you see, a great deal of credit for my post-high-school education is owed to the dusty back room of a deli.

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