Wednesday, January 12, 2005

ft. wayne

I'm typing from the downtown branch of the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, which may in fact be my new favorite library in the whole wide world. I've been staying with my brother and sister-in-law, enjoying people, places and things without too many cares to worry about. Except I have $10 left for food, and that has to last until Sunday.

Yesterday, I found myself at Hyde Brothers Used Books for the very first time. And while I might take issue with certain Jake Sikoras over whether it's the best used book store on the planet (John King's Used Books in Detroit gets my vote), I will concede that Hyde Bros. is incredibly sweet. And by sweet I mean there are books packed higher than very tall men could even dream to reach. But I also mean that I found four books that I can't wait to read. Here they are, in order of discovery:

1. Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger. I've had this on my imaginary list for a real long time now, but finally I found it for 1.95, which is going to make it even better, I think.

2. Walt Whitman: Selected Poems, Ed. Gary Schmidgall. I almost bought Leaves of Grass, but this collection looked interesting because it contains many of his poems in their original form, before he became popular and proper. Supposedly, the jacket says their packed with homoeroticism; I'm just hoping they're honest.

3. In Defense of Tradition, by Richard M. Weaver. Kind of a cornucopia of short writings and essays from one of my favorite conservative, dead people. Back when conservatives weren't popular, and we had brains, too.

4. Eat Fat, by Richard Klein. I was looking for No Logo, by Naomi Klein, which they didn't have. But this stood in it's place, and looked interesting. It's basically an argument of sorts that thin is only a passing fad in the grand scheme of historical fashion, and that fat has been "in" for the great majority of time and culture. It's funny, too. And has pictures of naked, fat people. You probably would not find it in Wal-Mart.

My goal was to buy a copy of Ulysses, by Joyce, but I put it back at the last second. First, the binding was wrong and the dust jacket just wasn't very attractive. But mostly, I'm not ready for it. I have to be excited like Christmas when I buy this, otherwise, I don't think I'll get past the tenth page. And I want to get past the tenth page.

I'm kind of itchy now to drive to Detroit and visit John King's. I have no money, but plenty of credit. And cheaply priced, wonderfully written books are whispering my name on the mountaintops.

I just might have to answer.

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