For the first time in over a decade, I’ve allowed myself to use Amazon to get my sticky mitts on some books. To most people this is probably a regular occurrence these days, if not on that site but on others, yet I have always held a deep mistrust of shopping online.
Part of it is down to all those horror stories of people losing all their money and having to sort that out with the bank and such but more importantly, for me it ruins the fun of questing for books.
It’s the sense of drama that is lacking online, if the shopper can get their hands on any book at anytime then does that devalue the experience of shopping? Not knowing is part of the thrill of going to the local purveyor of dreams wrapped up in paper. How many times have you looked for a book not found it and come out with several other great sounding books? Which is surely much more rewarding.
It’s magical, the expectation, the coveting and when you finally get a prize that’s been on the list for ages, or even better one that was forgotten about until that moment when you came across it on an unassuming shelf somewhere.
That feeling, the split second of unreality as you hold it in your hand disbelieving, before the gushing feeling of victory bursts forth and perhaps a little leap of victory escapes you no matter how many shoppers are around…or that could just be what I do.
Having said all that, sometimes after exhausting the local bookshops and every other one you’ve come across, it is good to fall back onto the safety (inter)net to source those elusive editions. The two pictured I’ve been hunting for, for a fair while and it’s a joy to see them now adorning the shelves.
Tally’s Corner came to my attention after reading the excellent The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner City Neighbourhood which I reviewed a long while back here and is one of two books that eventually spawned the best series TV as ever produced The Wire, a review of which I will get up in the next month.
To offset this 1967 anthropological investigation of the place of African-Americans and their relationship with society, I also picked up a fiction piece full of solitude and reminiscences set in a village on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees.
All in all, a great haul after ten years away from internet shopping and two books I am looking to get my teeth into and which will possibly accompany me on the plane journey. It’s between four books these two, Burke’s The Evils of Revolution and Children’s book Devil-in-the-Fog by Leon Garfield. A strong field and a conundrum with which to sign off for a week, although I will be around for a day or so yet so don’t start pining yet.