I am a lover of books. There is no doubting this. One of my favorite things is thrift shopping for books. I love the “high” and thrill that I get when I find something amazing at a bargain. I have found many exciting treasures for under a buck. Some people probably wonder why I am buying (in the joking words of my husband) “crusty old books”. I buy and collect them because they are beautiful. They are something that I treasure. I have infinite appreciation for well-loved books. I am so glad that family members are choosing to donate their great-grandmother’s old, dusty books to thrift stores. This knowledge is what drives me to go on my “treasure hunts” because I never know what I am going to find.
So what do I collect? I will be discussing the books I seek in future posts. For this post I am discussing my recent obsession with collecting vintage paperbacks. What is it about my attraction to them? I cannot really say. I love that they are small and compact. I love the artwork on the covers. I find the cover art to be incredibly appealing and unique. I was at one of my favorite local thrift stores when I saw this stack of paperback Agatha Christie. They were priced at a quarter to fifty cents. I could not and would not say no to those deals.
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Agatha Christie was a genius. I have purposely not read all of her work because I do not want to live in a world in which I no longer have anymore Christie to read. When I saw the copy of Roger Ackroyd I nearly jumped for joy (I saved that for when I got home and reviewed my haul). I am so glad that I was able to scoop these up as they will always remain in my collection…until my family members likely decide to throw them in the garbage upon my departure from this world. I now proudly own Ruth Bradley’s copy of 13 for Luck. It has green tinted pages, a slight tear on the back cover, looks like it was read once and resided on a shelf until I found it in a thrift store.
Once I realized that lovely little treasures could be found amongst the paperback stacks in thrift stores I kept my eyes peeled for what else was waiting for me to discover. I have had some great luck recently!
Have I ever read Jack London? No. Do I have other books by him living on my shelves? Yes I do. Will I ever read him? Time will tell but let’s be honest….the chances are very slim. Why do I add Jack London to my collection? I add his work because I can appreciate his contribution to literature. When I picked up that copy of Frankenstein at my local Goodwill I was very surprised when I saw the cover art. That was not what I was expecting a cover of Frankenstein to look like. I read the book in college and really liked it. Since I know that what is between the cover art of this particular copy it makes me question what the publisher was thinking. I would not pick that up at a bookstore and be thrilled to read it. Frankenstein is a standard classic. The cover art screams “forced reading”. At second glance, I appreciate the gothic scene. The contemplative stance of who can only be Dr. Victor Frankenstein on the moors. The cover art provides a subtle intrigue that would only be possible on a small paperback.
The old paperbacks are usually the books that are overlooked in second hand stores. I used to be one of them. Then I discovered the beauty and intrigue that they posses. They are small and compact, stack beautifully on my shelves and are meant to be treasured.