Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Back after a day off

I just house-sat (and cat-sat, more importantly) for my vacationing sister. Her house is only an hour and a half away, but instead of commuting back and forth for two nights, I put a 'closed' sign on the door and grabbed the chance to visit a nearby bookshop that I haven't been to since its transformation from a used recordshop to a used recordshop and bookshop, The Record Connection, in Waterville. Great books in a tidy shop, my favorite thing! I bought a carton of books, most of which were for stock, including a stack of very inexpensive early Modern Library editions with dust jackets. I bought a few things to read, too, which I've wanted for a long while: Stop-Time by Frank Conroy, and Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby. I've known for years that I wanted to read these, but haven't seen them in any of the used bookshops in the area (and I've mentioned before the wee problem I have when taking books out of the local library - these books are now mine, MINE!).

The Conroy book is mentioned again and again in books about books and writing as one of the finest and most well-written memoirs of the 20th century. Perhaps that's why I never see used copies; people are keeping it, it's so good. The Hornby book is the only one of his I haven't read yet. I'd love to find a first edition some day, but good luck, I tell myself, because it's scarce and expensive. Why I am still buying books for myself I do not know. It's not like I have anywhere to put them, at this point. Speaking of which, this article (courtesy of Bookninja) addresses that very issue. Those books, they do tend to pile up, don't they?

In other news, I've finished my taxes and find that I operated at a loss this past year. I remain philosophical, even sanguine, about this point, because (among other reasons) during the past four years I've had a steady rate of growth and hence a healthy profit. I mentioned my poor year to my bookdealer pal yesterday and he snorted with laughter - "Profit!? Hahaha..." which sums up the used-stuff business pretty well.

I'll be interested to hear what you think of "Fever Pitch". For me, it was a real insight into the mysterious workings of the male mind. (And if you get hooked on books about football, I'd recommend Tim Park's "A Season with Verona" too)
Fever Pitch is a great book;the sign of a truly exceptionaly writer is one that can get you interested in a subject that you hold no interest in.

There are two film versions of FP and I would recommend watching the British one with Colin Firth(I even have the screenplay to that,with b&w pictures from the film). It's much truer to the book and Colin Firth..mmmm!

I did Frank Conroy's novel,Body and Soul years ago and it's wonderful. Never had the urge to read Stop-Time,tho.
I'm starting "Fever Pitch" tonight. I love Nick Hornby - I was crushed when I realized that I'd missed his reading/signing in Massachusetts last spring (I think he was at Brookline Booksmith). I would have traveled to see him and have him sign a few books for me - unfortunately I found out about the signing a few days after it had happened. Some days it's hard to live at the back end of nowhere (most days I like it just fine).
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