I always read your book blogs at the start of each week with great anticipation! I can't wait to hear what you have received on "Mailbox Mondays" Since I haven't bought books online for a while, I don't participate in contests and giveaways (I'm not sure why - perhaps it is because I don't want to face the rejection of not winning?) and I am not a part of the ARC reviewers (it took me a while to realize that this had nothing to do with Noah and the Great Flood), I rarely have books in my mailbox. Today, however, I decided to give myself a $20 bill and visit the local used book store. I love the alliteration aspect of Mailbox Monday - Wednesday Words - Friday Finds, etc.....so I decided to call today's post "Thrifty Thursday" (it will by no means become a weekly meme, however).
Well, there is nothing like finding a book bargain to help me out of a funky mood - and I am definitely in better spirits this evening. For those who might be interested, let me share my finds. While there was no particular theme to this purchase, I did intentionally pick a few books that are outside my comfort zone for the sheer reason that I want to challenge myself. As I have posted before, Science Fiction is just NOT my genre. I am a realist (actually a pessimist, but we prefer to call ourselves realists as it sounds more positive) --- and the concept of stories taking place in other "fantastic" worlds just does not compute with me. However, after reading Susan's post last week, I have decided that I am probably missing out on a lot and I need to give this genre another valiant effort. Well, as luck would have it, the first book that I happened upon in the clearance section was the Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I have not been in the book blogging world long, but I have read enough blogs to know that this book is a definite favorite. I think Becky (whom I greatly appreciate her literary tastes, skills and analysis) reads this book once a year. When I saw the price was only one dollar - I snatched it up without hesitation. I will probably not read this soon, but I WILL read it.
I have also seen the movie trailers and read some recent book reviews for Cornelia Funke's Inkheart. While this would be considered science fiction -- I am quite intrigued by the plot: as a father reads his child stories, the characters come to life. While this is by no means "realistic" -- I could see where this might be a dream for bibliophiles - and for that reason alone I want to read it. I have heard that some find this first book a bit slow at times. My usual reaction would be to just stop reading the book and determine that it "is just not right for me." In an effort to challenge myself, I vow to complete the book - and if that means skimming through the long parts, well, so be it (I HATE to skim novels! I know authors pour over each and every word, and I feel I owe them the courtesy of reading each and every word. I will try to work through the guilt).
A third book that I purchased in this genre is Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair. I was enticed to try this book once before - for the same reason as stated before. The premise of this book, as I understand it, is that characters are actually missing in the stories and the detective, Thursday Next, needs to try to find them. Fascinating idea to me. The first time I tried reading the book I experimented with the audio version. Poor choice. My mind would do its wondering thing (as it is always prone to do with anything auditory in nature) and I would only be jolted back into the story when the protagonist would be slightly irritated and shout "sh--" Now I am sure that the cussing is probably at a minimum in the book - and I can easily overlook it. But in an audio version, that seemed to be the only words that I focused on. Hopefully the written version will better suit my tastes.
Other books that I found in the bargain section included Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky and an Oxford Anthology collection of Victorian Ghost stories. I have wanted to read Suite Francaise for quite a while now, and I was thrilled to find it in my price range. The ghost story book was definitely an impulse purchase - but for only one dollar and with stories written by Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and Henry James (just to name a few) I simply could not resist.
The remaining books have actually been on my "to buy list" for quite some time and I decided to go ahead and take the plunge. While historical fiction has never attracted my attention before (it is not that I am opposed to reading it, I have just never taken the time to do so), I did download a sample of The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory over Christmas break and found it to be rather entertaining. I succumbed to the temptation to buy it today. Again, this book will probably not be read in the near future, but I know that I will enjoy having it on my bookshelf when the mood hits me.
The final book purchase was the 3rd book in the Fitzwilliam Darcy series by Pamela Aidan - These Three Remain. I had purchased the other two volumes quite a while ago, and was thrilled to be able to complete the set in an affordable way. It is my desire to take some time this summer and read all of Jane Austen's novels - and then to read this series at the conclusion. I would not consider myself a Janeite (at least not yet), but the more I read her works, the more enthralled I am with her eloquent writing and satiric wit.
So there you have - the cure for the blahs: take a $20 dollar bill and spend two hours in the thrifty bookstore. You will exit the store in better spirits and arrive at home with a smile on your face.
Now...how do I find more time in my day to read these wonderful finds? I am serious. I would really love to hear how you make/find the time to read something fun and enjoyable just for you? If you have any words of wisdom, please post and enlighten me :)