"Tally-ho," we cried, setting out on our book hunting adventure.
No, not really. Not even figuratively. The book hunt was more a conversation.
"What books are you looking for?" my wife asked.
"Just The Alienist right now. I haven't been able to find it anywhere. What are you looking for?"
"Nothing." She laughed. "I have more than enough to read right now. I need to avoid buying some books and read some of what I bought."
"You don't have any list?"
"No...." She hesitated. "Not really...."
We'd discovered four book stores in Bend. She went down to Dudley's on her own while I was writing. Returning, she reported that she had not found The Alienist. She thought, though, that Pegasus would have it. Although half a block from Dudley's, Pegasus didn't open until 11.
I was done writing for the day by then so off she and I went. The owner, Duncan, greeted us when we entered, explaining where new and used books were located. The store had a number of books but it also had anime and manga, models and puzzles. It seemed more like a geek store than a book store. I told Duncan what I sought. He helped us look but he didn't recall seeing a copy recently.
After not finding it, he suggested Dudley's. We told him we'd checked there. "We have two other book stores," he said.
I nodded. "Bookmarks and The Open Book."
"Yes, they're right across the street from one another over on Greenwood. My wife owns Bookmarks. I'll bet she has it."
We thanked Duncan, bought one book, and set off on the five blocks to the other book stores. ("You're always making me walk," my wife complained. "You want to go back to the hotel and get the car?" I retorted. "No.....")
Bookmarks had The Alienist. The owner showed me exactly where it was and sold it to me for $3.00, giving a fifty cent discount for its condition. While there, I walked around, thinking how different her book store was from the other two. They were both dark and crowded. Her store was bright, large and airy. Which did I prefer? I don't know...they all shared huge stocks of books...though not as big as Powell's or Smith Family..... All had that good feel that I find in book stores, as though I've stumbled into the treasure of the Sierra Madre.
Over at The Open Book, we discovered a narrow, deep space, where every available wall was fronted from floor to ceiling with shelves filled with books, and more freestanding book shelves forming a labyrinth of sorts. Books were neatly organized but everywhere. There was no room for anything else except for the small nest up front where the owner worked behind a counter, cash register at hand, classical music playing as he sorted stacks of books. We only bought two books there. One was another copy of my wife's book club's next selection, The Caliph's House. She figured she'd had trouble finding it so she would buy this one and sell it to another member.
The other book was Driving Over Lemons. My wife had heard of it. I had not but I liked the book blurb. Reading a sample page, the book spoke to me.
Off we went with our new tomes to read in hand. Total books bought at Bend was just four, which isn't bad at all.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com