Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mail Bag

   Cheap books from Amazon almost make up for lost used book stores my friends and I used to haunt. It took me several years to find a copy of K. W. Jeter's Morlock Night in a real store. Now, one-click and it's mine.
   The downside of not having physical book stores anymore is I don't just chance upon something and buy it because the blurb on the back makes it sound great or the cover calls out tome.
   Books at the now-closed Book Pit in Red Bank, NJ went for under $2. I always walked out with a bag of books at least half by people I had never read before. It was great when there were a dozen different stores I could visit regularly with similar results.
   Even with Amazon Prime, the cheapest a book at Amazon costs me is $4. At that price, if I'm going to buy something by an author I'm not familiar with I need to know a little about a book from reviews or recommendations before I spend my cash.

This I bought because Bill Ward recommended it. I'd been curious about Brust but never bought it. Now I have.

I read "Bones for Dulath", the first Ki and Vandien story in Amazons! and really liked it. This $.01 omnibus (plus $3.99 S/H) gets me the original trilogy.

Read some good things about this someplace I can't remember and that was good enough for me.

Bill Ward reminded me about first volume, The Oblivion Hand, which reminded me I never got these. So I did.

Finally, the Deep Down Genre Hound himself sent me some of his latest collections. I've already read the three Shan and Bao stories and they're a blast. Further proof of the ongoing S&S renaissance. Note the very cool colophon.


  1. If you miss the day's of rummaging through used book stores for those forgotten gems, there is another option. I don't know what's available in your area, but a growing number of thrift shops (and similar venues) are sporting used book sections. I know in the last few years I've picked up several Leiber paperbacks as well as some Zelazny and the like at such stores. Between all the used books I've piled up and the e-book freebies and the gifts from authors, it's probably been a couple of years since I've actually bought a new book.

    1. I do miss the days of book store runs. I've actually made some incredible (though mostly non-genre) finds in thrift stores in the last few years: Inifinite Jest for $2 and The Irish RM for $1.
      Except for some new e-books from big publishers (though I usually wait until a sale), I haven't bought myself a brand new physical book in years either.

  2. Good choice with the Brust. I've been meaning to get back to reading him.

    1. I'm sort of surprised that with so many books I've never read any of his stuff.

  3. There is a Goodwill in my area that is the closest thing to a used bookstore these days, at least without a bit of a drive. But sometimes thrift stores can be wonderful -- this one, in it's hey day (even it is in decline), had some really great and unexpected treasures. I remember needing a shopping cart a few times (but clearly I have a problem!). Also, if you ever needed material for a golem made solely out of James Patterson novels, it should be your first visit.

    Glad I reminded you about the Cole, Fletcher, because now you've reminded me again and I'm going to grab the next two as well. I don't actually think they were out when you first mentioned Oblivion Hand, they look like the more recent Wildside/Borgo cover styles.

    I think you will enjoy Brust -- he's still putting out new books in the Taltos series, going on 30 yrs now I think? And they're still a lot of fun. I don't really think he gets the attention he deserves.

    And thanks for the mention!

  4. It's especially hard in the NYC area for used bookstores to survive due to high expenses and rents. I actually can't bear to look at the book section in the nearest Goodwill because I donated several big boxes of books there last year and don't want to see them languishing. I can safely say I never took a shopping cart of books away, only a pair of grocery bags. Now, I don't have the room to indulge even that anymore.

    As to the shout out, you're welcome