I walked through the rain to Goodwill today to buy a birthday present and when I got there I did what I always do first: head right for the fiction paperback section. You can always tell someone who’s been haunting aisles of bookshelves because they kind of walk around with their ear near their shoulder for awhile until they straighten up again and face the hard edges of the world beyond the bookshelves.
I only had so much money, and some of it had to be put aside for the gift. But I had the luxury of the end of an afternoon and I was going to bask in books for awhile, I made up my mind. I have begun to notice how much I’d love to find copies of old Penguins or Puffins with their plain covers in orange and white or blue and white. I don’t know where to begin because I’m kind of naive that way. But I’m always on the look-out, but none there today, and probably never will be, since I guess most of them are pricey nowadays.
But I began to pile my arm with real finds. You know those days you go to, say, a thrift store and find nothing, and then other days you score big? This was one of those days. Big score (for me, anyway). I wound up with six paperbacks I’ve been wanting for some time, all priced 99-cents to $3.99 each. Here they are:
- Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf
- A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
- The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro
- In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
- American Pastoral by Philip Roth
None of this would be exciting to anyone who finds literature in Goodwill stores as a matter of course. It’s just that the one I can walk to has had a dearth of it since it opened, but now it’s begun to stock some fine reads. Oh, yes, and I also bought two nice necklaces for the birthday gift and walked home with a big smile on my face.