Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A real bookstore

I dropped into Powell's Bookstore in downtown Portland and in the space of ten minutes found $50 worth of books I wanted.  Powell's carries both new and used volumes, side by side, so I went to the Irish history section and there were three titles I just had to buy, including one written by a Protestant Brit with "The murderous history of Ulster's Catholics" in the sub-title.  It was written in 2000 so should prove interesting.  The other two I bought were published in 1972.

Man, I could have spent all day in that place and probably broken my budget, big-time, before I was done. I really miss stores like this.  Borders and Barnes&Noble never took over, and with Amazon it's hard as hell to find anything interesting unless you know exactly what you're looking for and they happen to offer something else like it as a suggestion.  Some of the crap that came up through that method...well, let's just say there was nothing to link them except a single word in the title.

But a store like Powell' can dig through new books and find old ones right beside them that are all on the same subject.  It hurts that this is vanishing.

It's funny, but my whole life has been tied up in books, even when I had my eyes on the film prize.  I haunted bookstores before I returned to college and then began working in them.  And I've been most at ease in that environment.  So now I'm finally writing novels and sometimes wonder if I've wasted my life and the opportunities given me, but I can't say that I have (not any longer).   It's where I was meant to be, and as much as I like to think things might have been different had I followed this path instead of that trail...I don't think anything would have turned out differently.

I am what I am...a bookworm devouring stories.  Right now I feel a bit fat and happy, because I'm still dealing with books, albeit in a roundabout way.  Won't keep me from whining, every so often, but then again, what could?

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