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Mail Order Pride

17 Jun

BlackOverBill'sMother'sFor 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 TheCornervictory 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.

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51 Comments

Posted by on 17/06/2016 in Fiction, Journalism

 

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51 responses to “Mail Order Pride

  1. Jill Weatherholt

    17/06/2016 at 15:42

    Congratulations on the great finds, Ste. J! “I’ve allowed myself to use Amazon to get my sticky mitts on some books.” LOL!
    Although I could spend hours in a book store, the convenience of online ordering can be nice.
    Have a great weekend!

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    • Ste J

      17/06/2016 at 15:48

      Shopping online can be done in minutes but I like to make a day of it with the bookshops though. I may come into the 21st century properly one day but it won’t be for a long time, I’m still quite taken with the 20th. Have a top weekend yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  2. Sherri

    17/06/2016 at 19:03

    Oh the anticipation…a bookstore offers so much more than Amazon for the full experience. I thought of you when recently in Lewes…remember that photo of the ‘olde worlde’ tudor bookshop? I can see you taking up residence there…

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    • Ste J

      18/06/2016 at 13:42

      I pine for a house full of books so I can invite bloggers around to marvel and enjoy the ambience. It’s always nice to be thought of,in relation to books hehe. The internet is great for speed shopping but for us old skool browsers the art of book shopping is a ritual, an ancient rite into the book world.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Sherri

        20/06/2016 at 14:42

        An ancient rite indeed…and I love that word ‘pine’ used in this context. I haven’t heard it in a while…so evocative…

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  3. gargoylebruce

    17/06/2016 at 23:19

    Is The Yellow Rain a memoir featuring incontinence?

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  4. clarepooley33

    18/06/2016 at 03:00

    I love the cover design on the ‘The Yellow Rain’. Well done for finding these books you have been looking for and thank-you for the link back to your other post – very interesting!

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    • Ste J

      18/06/2016 at 13:28

      I try not to read my old reviews as I could do it so much better now but hopefully the appreciation of the book shines through. The internet makes everything easy i terms of shopping which makes me happy when I can track my book orders.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. Liz

    18/06/2016 at 08:59

    These books look great. I think there is room for all the different forms of shopping, depending on one’s needs at any particular time. There are plenty of specialist craft books, for example, that it simply would not be right to expect a shop to carry, so I find a site like Amazon invaluable for that kind of thing. I also use sites like Alibris from time to time to source something out of print. My favourite way of shopping, however, is to use Letizia’s ‘poetry aisle’ approach – she wrote once about how she likes to walk straight to the poetry section in a shop and buy the first book she lays eyes on – in this way, she discovers gems that she might not otherwise have spotted. I have tried this with a variety of types of books (poetry, current fiction, crime etc) and it is utterly brilliant – highly recommended.

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    • Ste J

      18/06/2016 at 13:38

      I remember that post, it’s a good idea and perhaps that is yet another excuse to splurge on books. I haven’t heard of Alibris, I shall check it out…I do wish the big chain bookstores would be more open to stocking better books and really encouraging people to go beyond the bestsellers and find even more delights.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Liz

        18/06/2016 at 17:27

        Perhaps you might consider offering your consultancy services….?

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        • Ste J

          28/06/2016 at 18:47

          Well to be paid in books would be wondrous. Perhaps I shall just breeze in with a TV camera and blag it, you never know what may happen hehe.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • Liz

            28/06/2016 at 21:32

            Lol – I look forward to hearing how that goes!

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  6. Jilanne Hoffmann

    18/06/2016 at 17:14

    I do resort to Amazon when looking for obscure, usually used, titles. But I try Powell’s first. If you’re ever in Portland , Oregon, you MUST go to Powell’s. http://www.powells.com/

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 18:54

      I was briefly in Oregon a few years back and this was mentioned but sadly I never got there, or rather haven’t got there yet. Sometimes Amazon is the only way to secure obscure titles and for that I cannot fault it.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  7. Andrea Stephenson

    18/06/2016 at 18:20

    Interesting points Ste, I don’t get to browse enough because we don’t have a bookshop in town, but I do love to visit one and pick up unexpected things. I now ‘shop’ in a mixture of ways – I browse in the library (since I work there, I regularly pass interesting things), but have a wish list on Amazon that I choose things from now and again. Hope you enjoy these ones!

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 19:51

      I am looking forward to reading them, there is so much to choose from and so many amazing subjects, lives and adventures to be experienced. We don’t have a bookshop either but it’s good to travel and come back laden. Amazon wishlists save losing all those bits of paper with lists on that used to happen.

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  8. LuAnn

    18/06/2016 at 23:19

    I must admit to doing a lot of internet shopping but not normally for books. There is nothing like perusing a quaint bookstore to discover it’s hidden treasures.

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 18:56

      Yes exactly, I prefer that, to hunt through the titles being infinitely distracted and to find books I had totally forgotten about, an old memory or a book once coveted that was lost in the fog of memory. The internet just doesn’t have that same excitement, although makes Christmas shopping a heck of a lot easier.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  9. shadowoperator

    19/06/2016 at 20:20

    Enjoy your books, enjoy your trip, we will “debrief” when you return (p.s. I’m speaking as the boss of a secret agent going into previously uncharted territory, not telling you to take any clothing off)! Sorry, it’s hard to resist the joke, James Bond spends so much of his time with his clothes in a state of disarray!

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 20:01

      I’m back on and fully clothed, although it was tempting to lose a few layers but I cared for the bypassers and any foo they recently ingested.

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  10. angela

    20/06/2016 at 01:22

    I must ask…is there no library to use??? #questionslibraryworker But, good for you. I’m so accustom to those around me with their Amazon Prime – gads, if you have to wait more than 2 days for something it is considered life altering…. oy!

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 18:59

      The local library is okay but doesn’t have the depth that I would wish, I have in truth abandoned it although last I was in they had some good classics, I found a lot of the history to be disappointing in scope. Amazon is something I will use only sparingly when a book is either not printed any more or hard to source due to the publishers and so forth. I’m happy to wait though, plenty more books to read until any orders around, we are an impatient breed though, I remember a computer game cassette taking ten to fifteen minutes to load, nobody would be happy with that these days.

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  11. Jessica

    20/06/2016 at 15:31

    Haha, I agree, it is much more satisfying to find a book you’ve always wanted to read at the bottom of a stack of books in a used book store, but the Internet is so convenient! My main complaint is that sometimes there are books that I’m hunting for in my quest to read all of the Pulitzers that I can’t find either online or in stores!

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 19:01

      It is great to have the internet as a back up, especially or the more obscure books, people always seem to have a copy they are willing to part with which I find strange. Yours is a noble quest, shop on, you have my admiration.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  12. Asha Seth

    21/06/2016 at 08:58

    It’s good to see another full-blown post from you, J. You’re right. Nothing compares to the feeling you get on spotting a much sought out book. The Yellow Rain looks so intriguing and the yellow cover just adds to the intrigue factor. What have you been doing? How are days now?

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 19:06

      Sadly I ended up with a different cover that is black and white, what is worse is that I only four pages on the plane and now I am back I have started a new book but I will get to it properly soon as it is short. You will be happy to know I picked up a load of good books in Boston which I will blog about soon! My day have been good, just returned from a week over in the US and up for writing about it and catching up with all the lovely blog posts I have missed, I hope you are well?

      Liked by 1 person

       
  13. Theanne aka magnoliamoonpie

    22/06/2016 at 14:18

    Several years ago I frequented a lovely used book store in Clearwater…moved away, moved back and, alas, the used books were GONE! I never go in a “new” book store anymore, can’t afford it. And I’ve not been able to find another used book store to my liking. So I shop online at Amazondotcom which as you say doesn’t even begin to have the wonderfulness of a “real” book store. I have been purchasing a few paperbacks at the grocery…I know how plebeian is that…and reading actual “real” books rather than my Kindle. My reading life has “gone to h*ll in a handbasket” but I try 🙂 Have a lovely plane trip reading one of your lovely books 🙂

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 20:26

      It can be tough when bookshops are a ways away, I am lucky that I only have to travel 14 miles to get to a decent one. Amazon is great for when you need books but can’t get them. The choice makes me happy and the obscure books are curiously easy to get a hold of most times I find.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Theanne aka magnoliamoonpie

        29/06/2016 at 13:51

        I’ve always liked the fact that you can buy used books on Amazon. I’ve only had 1 bad experience with one of their independent sellers. Which is pretty good considering how many years I’ve been using their services 🙂

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  14. Resa

    24/06/2016 at 22:29

    Great post! I know no one who loves books to the extent that you do. Whatever you decide to read on the plane, will be an excellent post when you get back. Although, I’m sure you will find a bookstore in Boston that lures you in. Here’s one of the oldest… http://www.brattlebookshop.com/
    Have the best time. I’m still on nights, but it will be over in a week. I will finish my Canada’s birthday post, then do yours. It might work out with your homecoming. Bon Voyage, dear friend!

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 19:29

      Thank you for the link! Brattle Books was my first port of call for all things book related, they have a while floor of rare books, I went back three times in a week. I only read four pages on the plane but picked up fourteen books so I have the excitement back and I can’t wait to get reading. I am glad to have the accolade as best book lover in your life!

      I am glad your nights are nearly over, I’ve been concerned about your health and worry you aren’t taking care of you enough. I have a mural to send to you once I get on top of things as well, typically I saw loads of murals near the airport but we were on the bus out then. I did get you something though so I am happy!

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  15. timkeen40

    25/06/2016 at 01:07

    I am more and more an online shopper. With Prime, you can get nearly anything delivered to your door for free minus the yearly fee. I love it.

    Tim

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 20:35

      There is something about not having much to wait which it makes it all the more enticing, I just love the feeling of getting in amongst all the books and blowing off dust and getting lost in the smell and finding more than I came in for.

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  16. Liz Dexter

    26/06/2016 at 19:00

    I get a lot of second-hand books from A and a few new ones, too. We have a Prime membership thanks to my husband, which makes it very seductive. Sometimes running kit and books arrive in the same box!

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 19:14

      It is tempting to splurge and get them delivered, I do get fairly stressed about the condition they may arrive in though, it’s my own fault but being this way, I just hate to see a damaged book. The good side is that I feel so guilty about not keeping the local bookshops open that I go and splurge in those too!

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  17. Theanne aka magnoliamoonpie

    27/06/2016 at 16:32

    Hello again! I’ve just read “Lily and the Octopus” by Steven Rowley…I loved it even though I sobbed most of the way through…but then I have a dachshund (Baron) who’s just had his first bout with IVDD and I’ve had to take so many loved canines and felines for their “last” visit to the vet. I found the book to be heartbreaking and uplifting all at the same time 😥 ❤ 🙂

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  18. Life, Love and Whatever

    28/06/2016 at 09:47

    You have a varied appetite when it comes to books and always make me find something interesting or may be not.

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    • Ste J

      28/06/2016 at 18:45

      It’s always good to have an overview of all books, I would hate to miss something of value because I chose not to read a certain genre. I have picked up a few more obscurer titles on my travels as well of late.

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  19. macjam47

    01/07/2016 at 03:11

    Shopping in bookstores is a treat to be enjoyed for hours. But when you read a review and think, “I’ve got to have it,” nothing beats Amazon just click on it and it ships. Then you have a couple days anticipation while you wait for it to arrive. Amazon is using drones for one hour delivery if you are really in a hurry to read the book. BTW, I haven’t tried their drone service. It sort of freaks me out to think that this little thingamajig could pop in at any moment.

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    • Ste J

      01/07/2016 at 13:18

      There is that, knowing you have a copy and not being disappointed to not find it in a shop. The drones will be interesting, I wonder how many will be in the skies soon dropping things off and would they land or drop it to us or on the floor, it is intriguing how it will happen. We won’t see it for a while where I live but I would be fascinated to the internal workings of the system.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • macjam47

        01/07/2016 at 13:22

        I’m not sure how I feel about the drones. There is a big controversy here about how drones have become a danger to aircraft. I assume it’s from individuals who have them, but it could be from business use as well.

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        • Ste J

          01/07/2016 at 13:27

          There would have to be exclusion zones around airports, if you live in a small town I am sure it would be easy but as soon as it comes to big cities, it will be epic and those poor pilots(?) having to find obscure addresses in cities will be a nightmare.

          Liked by 1 person

           

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