Today, I decided that I was going to go to a bookstore. Not to buy anything, because I am trying not to spend money, but just to browse, because there is something very calming about that, no doubt. The closest bookstore to my house is The Last Word bookshop, a place that I’ve always liked. The narrow aisles are crammed with books of all sorts, neatly separated by subject, though there’s always an interesting jumble of new arrivals in the front of the store. Prices are a bit high for used books, but the quality of the books is always good. Sometimes they have real finds–I saw an advance copy of 2666 there once, before it was officially published in the US. Also there is a fat bookstore cat that you can come across sometimes, who will rub against your legs. I ducked into the Last Word today out of a crazy sandstorm that was blowing across Penn’s campus.
I only browsed around for a little bit, but that was good enough for me. It was torture because there were many books that caught my interest, but none that I could afford.
Here are some of the books that I was eyeing, but didn’t buy.
I was very tempted by these two books by Milorad Pavic. There are two versions of this book, male and female, the difference is in one sentence. I’ve read the male version, I think, and I’ve never seen the two in the same place. You are not supposed to buy both of them yourself, you’re supposed to find someone with the other gendered book… but I was tempted.
And finally, a view of the entire shop. If you’re ever in Philadelphia it’s worth visiting.