Friday, September 07, 2007

I ♥ a Book Sale

Finally made it to the Daedalus Warehouse sale last weekend. Daedalus Books, the discount book seller, has a big warehouse in Columbia, Maryland, as well as a new store (well, relatively new) in Baltimore. And in all the many years I've been getting their catalogue, I've intended to drive over and check out the warehouse, but never managed to get around to it until last Saturday.

It's quite a trek from our part of Northern Virginia, and with all the Labor Day weekend traffic, and missing cut-offs and exits, it took about an hour to get there. But it was worth all the travel. Seemed like just about everything in the building was on sale for $4.98 (or less).

Appropriately enough, I bought Penelope Fitzgerald's The Book Shop, which always sounded interesting to me. Haven't read any of her books yet, but I have to admire such a late-bloomer. She published her first work at age 58, which gives us all hope.

Also picked up several "literary nonfiction" works.

Nicolas Basbanes' A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World. I'm about halfway through his A Gentle Madness, and really enjoying it.

The Friar and the Cipher, by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone, about the mysterious Voynich manuscript. The Goldstones have written a slew of books about books and book-collecting, but this is the first one for me.

Book Row, by Marvin Mondlin and Roy Meador: an "anecdotal historical memoir" about the antiquarian book trade in New York City, from the 1890s to the 1960s. Most of that world is gone now, of course, and I really only got to glimpse just the very end of it back in the mid-1970s. So I'm looking forward to finding out more about it.

And finally, Thomas Mallon's A Book of One's Own: People and Their Diaries. Well, what blogger wouldn't be intrigued by a book about the many ways people document their everyday lives? Of course, it was published just before the blog phenomenon got started. Maybe Mr. Mallon needs to bring out a revised edition.

So, all in all, it was a pretty successful and very enjoyable field trip. M. didn't buy anything. But that's not too surprising, since he's a man and really doesn't understand the whole concept of shopping.

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