I go on two kinds of shopping sprees: one for backpacking gear, and one for books. Lately I've been on an ongoing spree for books.
I can't help it. Perhaps I need to join a support group (Bibliophiles Anonymous, anyone?). I was supposed to meet my mom at Barnes & Noble several days ago, not because either of us planned to go book-shopping, but because B&N was a good, central location with a coffee shop where we could meet and chat.
Well, I wasn't in B&N for five minutes before I'd bought Shakespeare by Anthony Burgess and Write: 10 Days to Overcome Writer's Block. Period. by Karen E. Peterson. (Ah, yes. That's what we writer-types do when we don't feel like writing. We read books about writing. Brilliant.)
Then yesterday I found Run with the Horsemen by Ferrol Sams for $2 at a used-book store. How could I say no? I love that book. I was planning to let a friend borrow my copy, but I couldn't find it; I probably lent it to someone else and never got it back. So I picked up another copy for my friend.
Then today ... oh, my. Today was the second day of the Friends of the Library's annual book sale. I went on a spree. A major spree. I budgeted $25 for this particular spree, which I'd been fantasizing about for a good part of the summer. I went this morning. Damage assessment? I spent all of $16.50. Here's what I found:
Man and His Symbols, by Carl Jung
Jung: A Biography, by Gerhard Wehr
Soule’s Dictionary of English Synonyms
The Story of English, by Robert McCrum, William Cram, and Robert MacNeil
Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary
Classical Elements in English Words, by Robert E. Wolverton
I Really Should be Practicing, by Gary Graffman
The Great Ones: Classical Music’s Legendary Performers, by Harold C. Schonberg
Writing the Natural Way, by Gabriele Lusser Rico
How to Read a Book, by Mortimer J. Adler
Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Style, by Joseph M. Williams
Mythology, by Edith Hamilton
Literary Agents: A Writer’s Introduction, by John F. Baker
Just This Side of Madness: Creativity and the Drive to Create, by Carol Ann Morizot
On Writing Well, by William Zinsser
Steps in Composition, by Lynn Quitman Troyka and Jerrold Nudelman
Several of the books on writing, particularly Zinsser's, will come in handy for teaching composition this year. (And for, er, my own use when I don't feel like writing.)
I didn't buy any fiction. I usually prefer to check out fiction from the library, unless it's a book I really love or need. (Need? Yes, need.) As you can see from the list above, I like to buy reference-type books on language and writing. I also have a soft spot for grammar textbooks but was disappointed not to find any old grammars there today. Maybe next year.
Still--not bad for $16.50, hm?