Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Corpse of a Bookstore

Borders is one hundred and seventy days dying and not yet dead -- though, unlike Gully Foyle, it will die, before very long. And I took another weekly trip to my local, to survey the wreckage and to buy yet more books; the discounts increased again late last week and there was a special offer to Borders Plus members for an additional 15% off.

I came home with ten books, the most yet, including several things that I would have bought somewhere else if I didn't find them  in the wreckage. That counts, I think, as finding a way to make a small triumph out of a giant calamity. Those books were:

Cake Wrecks by Jen Yates, the first book incarnation of the popular blog. I'd gotten it from the library at least once, but I bought a copy primarily because my younger son (Thing Two) had loved it then, so now he can have it to keep and chortle over whenever he wants.

Write More Good, a fake writing stylebook by the folks behind the Twitter account @FakeAPStylebook (whom I discovered, in turn, through their member Mike Sterling, who blogs about comics).

Nightschool, Vol. 4 by Svetlana Chmakova, continuing an urban fantasy western-manga series that I quite liked but hadn't previously managed to spend my own money on. (I saw the first three volumes as a reviewer, but I fell off of Yen's lists sometime in the past year or so.)

Neverisms is a book of quotations, explained and explicated by Dr. Mardy Grothe, all of which are about things you should never do. I've been out of the bookclubs for four years now, so my supply of books of oddball facts, quirky quotes, or unlikely connections are running low, and I'm hoping that the Borders wreck will replenish that shelf. (I don't like spending a lot of bathroom reading, particularly since I was used to getting them free for over a decade and a half.)

Philosophy in the Boudoir is a "classic" from the Marquis de Sade -- yes, him -- in a gorgeous, sexy Penguin Classics edition. And the prices at the Borders bankruptcy sale are now hitting the point where it's worth buying the "what the hell" books -- the ones that look nice, or that you think you might read someday, or just because they're slim and you already have them in your hand.

Similarly, Melissa Katsoulis's Literary Hoaxes is exactly what it says on the tin, though I found it lurking in the "Fiction & Literature" section. (As usual in going-out-of-business sales, my local Borders is seeing entropy creeping up a bit each week; by the time of the final sale, nothing will be reliably findable and browsing will entail looking through every book just to see what's there.)

Disquiet, Please! -- edited by David Remnick and Henry Finder -- is the second book of humor writings pulled from the New Yorker. I read the first volume, Fierce Pajamas, about two years ago, and thought it might be a good idea to have the second volume in the house, just in case.

Charles Stross's brand-new novel is Rule 34, and I was very surprised to find it sitting quietly on the "Sci-Fi" shelf. I decided someone had to give it a good home, and mine was as good as anyone's.

I've picked up 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth, a collection of humorous lists and other materials from the website The Oatmeal, several times without actually buying or reading it. But now that its section was 50% off, I had no excuse.

And last was I Kill Giants, a graphic novel by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura, which I remember hearing good things about. And Kelly seems to be one of the more interesting writers working in and around the modern superhero genre (along with obvious names like Grant Morrison and less obvious ones like Jonathan Hickman), so I figure I should read something by him when I have a chance.

That's what I found; I hope you folks are similarly digging through the flotsam and jetsam at your local dying Borders and grabbing books of interest to spirit them away.

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