Sunday, March 14, 2010

Books


On Thursday I walked downtown to Pegasus books to see if they have an Anchor Doubledays. That location is kind of a weird place, and I don't think a lot of people go in there to sell their paperbacks. Maybe because of Half Priced Books being just down the street. But I found these two Henry James books. One of them isn't even fiction, it's a biography, and the other we own, but I was hoping it would be a better quality book. It wasn't, but it was just $2. I think we're going to give the extra copies to friends. I was just going to sell them on Amazon, but Marci wasn't having it.


On that same day I walked by Half Priced Books and found these two. A better copy of Franz Kafka's Amerika for $3.98 (I got another at Shakespeare's for $9), and this Henry Adam's book that he did the typography for.


On Saturday, I walked to Pegasus & Pendragon's on Solano Avenue. It was a nice walk and I pretty much just walked through the neighborhood until I got there. I've been looking for the Sir Kenneth Clark one a while. He did a program back in the 60s called Civilisation which was one of the first programs developed for BBC2 by David Attenborough. I was also lucky enough to find both volumes of Either/Or by Kierkegaard, as well as Joseph Conrad's Secret Agent (he did "Heart of Darkness") in their very small fiction section.

I think the Solano Avenue Pegasus branch is way better than the Downtown one by a lot, though their fiction section is about a third of the size. It's way larger and it feels like they have more books and better selection throughout. Like the sections for Art Criticism, Politics, and Philosophy all had really good titles. There's another Pegasus branch that we used to go to a lot on College Ave cause it's about 5 or 6 blocks away from CCA.

So for the past few months I've been to Green Apple Books (SF), Moe's (Berkeley-Telegraph), Shakespeare's (Berkeley-Telegraph), the University Press Bookstore (Berkeley-Telegraph), Half-Priced Books (Berkeley-Downtown), Pegasus (Berkeley-
Downtown), Pegasus & Pendragon's (Berkeley-Solano Ave).

I've always used to think Green Apples is the best bookstore in the Bay Area, but Moe's is pretty awesome. Their selection is pretty amazing, it's 4 floors, and their prices are really good. I found 5 Doubleday Anchor Paperbacks there for $11 total. Shakespeare's has a lot of the books I'm looking for but they're pretty expensive. The most used expensive book I've bought there was $9, which is a lot for a paperback. Pendragon's is well priced if you can find the books, and Half-Priced Books is pretty awesome, just cause so much comes in, and their paperback fiction section is immense. But they're kind of lacking in selection in other things that are not fiction. Like Moe's has a Medieval section, which is pretty sweet, and it isn't just a shelf. The University Press Bookstore does have used books but most of the stuff is either too old or too new, and most of the old stuff is hardbound. But it's a beautiful bookstore and if you're looking for new books you should stop by there. There's another bookstore in the Parking Garage off of Telegraph that's run by the Berkeley Library. It's called something like Friend's of the Berkeley Public Library. I don't know what it's like cause I wake up at 11, and rarely get out of the house by 2, and it closes at 4. But someday.

In April I'm in a 4 person show in Portland, Oregon, which basically means if I go up there I get to visit Powell's Books. If you never heard of Powell's, well it's kind of like the thing I think of most when I think of Portland, even more so than the rain, the awesome bike lanes, and their many bridges. That bookstore is the size of a city block. And you can get a homemade oreo cookie nearby.


This is a map I've drawn out of the used bookstores in the Mission. I don't know where to start, and I also have to get a ceramic coffeemaker (for single cups) at Rainbow (which is off of Folsom & 14th). I think I'll get off at 24th Street BART, walk up Valencia, then cross over to 14th and Market, and then walk to Rainbow and get back on on 16th.

Yeah, I know.

If you're wondering what books I've actually read this year. I've only read two. One's Rick Atkinson's Day of Battles, which is like a day by day account of the war in Sicily and Italy. Yeah, it's 800 pages, but I think 200 of it's just notes. The other is Carl Sagan's Varieties of Scientific Experience. I basically got it cause I liked the cover, and my friend recommended it. I bought it at Half-Priced books for $6.98. It's 260 pages. Uh, some of it was interesting, but I never had questions about God, or Aliens, or whatever. the Q&A section is pretty fucking awesome. I bought Michael Pollan's new book, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, so I'll start on that when it gets here. When I started drawing out my food and seeing what I eat, I got really into eating healthy and watching food documentaries and Michael Pollan is in everyone one of them.

Pretty much I read about 5 books a year, and it's been that way since 2005, which was the first year I started reading for fun (by the way this is for stuff that's aren't graphic novels/comics). But I'm setting a goal to sit down from whatever I'm doing to read about 10 pages a day. Which seems like very little, but that's 3650 pages a year and a book is about 200-600 pages, so that's about 12 books which would be more than twice as many books than I normally read. I think as time goes on I'll try reading more. Someday I might pick up fiction. The closest I've been to that was a book of poems by D.C. Berman.

Oh, I scanned and put every Edward Gorey Doubleday Anchor book we've found in a flickr set here.

No comments: