Friday, March 21, 2014

Book haul and things that change

If you "friended" me on Facebook, then you know I was blabbing about going book shopping for the past few days. I took a vacation day today and did just that. (I also attended some family matters in the afternoon - so it wasn't all about me and it was a productive business and pleasure day.)

I thought I would ramble a bit on the subject, because I need a post anyway.

First, the store. I went to The New England Mobile Book Fair. It is neither mobile, nor a fair. It is a warehouse-sized bookstore and they are open year-round. It's not far from me but I only go a few times a year or I'd be out of money and out of space. It's a great store, in fact, it pretty much is a warehouse. It is not a used book store. These books are new. Over the years I've come home with a lot - even out-of-print stuff. When I find those gems, they're diamonds. Imagine finding a book in mint condition at the used book store. Well, here, it's truly mint if you find one. My best find?  Conan of Aquilonia, ACE 1977 edition. I bought it around 1997. It had been sitting on the shelf (or, in back and then brought out) 20 years. Maybe just for me, eh? ;)

Now, there used to be one trick to navigating the store. They used to keep everything by publisher and title. Not by genre (with a few end-cap like exceptions) and not by author. It took some getting used to. But, if you came prepared with a list of books upon which you had noted the various publishers, there were great finds to be had.

Not to mention just browsing the hell out of the place.

But things change, yes they do...-

Unfortunately, as you might have figured from my use of past tense, the layout of the store has been reconfigured to "normal." A new owner came in a few years ago. They still have an enormous amount of books, but they are categorized. In any other store that would be fine, but it bothers me at NEMBF.

I loved being able to go to the Baen section or the TOR section and just see what they were offering. And if you had a book that might defy categorization, you would know where to find it if they had it. Before Kindle and the ease of public domain ebooks, I brought home a bunch of Dover Thrift Press titles.

Also, the new owner, being savvy, figured out that they had so much stock it was time to move the out-of-print stuff along through an eBay channel. (which reminds me, I should look into that.) I still find some out-of-prints - found some today, in fact. But, I fear they are dwindling. Good for the store, disappointing for me.

I still browse the hell out of the place, regardless of the changes. Today I came home with far more fantasy than I expected. I was hoping to make some notable horror scores. But, they don't have a horror section, so I was bouncing between "Scifi/Fantasy", "Fiction" and "Mystery" without much luck, frankly. Now, in the old days, I would have just headed to the publisher's given section.

Times change.

So, enough moping - how about the books I did score?

Sidhe-Devil by Aaron Allston.  Recently discussed on Black Gate. Fortunately, I have the first novel, Doc Sidhe, already on my computer for my Kindle. I grabbed it back in the early days of the Baen Free eLibrary, and I am glad I did. Since Baen finally made Kindle arrangement with Amazon, their free library took a hit. Oh, some of the titles are still free through Amazon, but many aren't anymore (or maybe author rights have simply reverted.)  This sequel is both out-of-print and not even offered as an ebook.

Mother of Kings by Poul Anderson. No idea, it just jumped out at me.  Anderson writing another Viking novel. I expect it will be good or better than good.

Gotrek and Felix; The Anthology. I have many unread Warhammer titles on my shelf, but I like these characters and who can resist an anthology? Plus, it's out-of-print and I don't like Black Library's ebook pricing.

The Last Guardian by David Gemmell.  I have many unread Gemmell titles on my shelf, most I bought used. I am interested in reading this Jon Shannow character, and this title seems hard to come by. Pretty sure it's out-of-print, unsure of the ebook status.

Lion of Ireland by Morgan Llwelyn. Classic Irish historical that I've never read. At $3 in the bargain section, this was better than getting it used and better than the ebook price.

Shadow Kingdoms by Robert E. Howard. Another for the collection. I have these stories elsewhere, but there are also some poems and I don't know how much of Howard's poetry I have. (I do not have the collected poetry.) Also a bargain section book, so for $5 I can save some wear & tear on my other books when I want to read these stories.

The Apes of Wrath. The ebook costs much less, but wothell - sometimes you gotta give the brick'n'mortar a little scratch. Ape stories from Robert E. Howard, Hugh B. Cave, Clark Ashton Smith, Joe Lansdale, et al.  I couldn't resist.  OK, I couldn't resist very hard.


  1. Nice haul. I'd like to know what you think about the Anderson. I've had it in hardcover for years but never got to it. I'll be reading quite a bit of Anderson over the summer (knocks on wood), but that one isn't on the radar at the moment. Maybe it should be.

    If you can find a copy (good luck) you should try to grab a copy of the collected poetry.

    I understand what you mean about changing the shelving. The local B&N decided to clear some inventory, and now too many of the books are face out (IMO) to cover up the empty shelves.

  2. I haven't heard of Mother of Kings. How have I missed that. I'm a big Poul Anderson fan.

  3. Charles, Mother of Kings came out about a dozen years or so ago. It didn't make a big splash for some reasons.