Book, Books…y libros

After suggesting that I needed a book-buying-ban, I succumbed to one final Borders trip about two weeks ago. It was a sad visit, as a good portion of the store was blocked off and empty, and the remainder was only loosely organized by category and a bit sparse looking. In fact, I think I emptied out all of the remaining classics (except perhaps one or so). However…there was an entire big section of Spanish-language books–more than I’ve ever seen before in the store. (Assumption: these haven’t been hot sellers across the spectrum.)

My first pile (better glimpses of the covers above) are the English-language books I selected. All have been on my radar or already on one list or another.

  • Edith Wharton – Ethan Frome
  • Edith Wharton – The House of Mirth – I’ve never read any Wharton, although I don’t know why. Now I have no excuse
  • Anthony Trollope – Barchester Towers – Actually the second of his Barchester novels, and no, I don’t yet have the first (The Warden). I’ve never read any Trollope either, but between what I’ve read about him and various adaptation I’ve seen of his work, I’m guessing I’ll love him. I hope! (If I do, I will have plenty of new-to-me books to read.)
  • Stella Gibbons – Cold Comfort Farm – It’s supposed to be very funny, and we could all use that every once in a while.
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Half of a Yellow Sun – The purchase of this book is almost 100% thanks to Eva, as she has praised Adichie so highly.

Y los libros españoles:

Um. After taking the pictures and loading them to the computer, I realized that although the books were all right-side up, thanks to the custom of Spanish-language publishers of printing titles running from top to bottom, the titles are all upside down in the picture. Oops. (Also true of Italian books, so I’m wondering if this is true across continental Europe?) Flipped below:

  • Atruro Pérez-Reverte – El capitan Alatriste [Captain Alatriste]
  • Atruro Pérez-Reverte – Limpieza de sangre [Purity of Blood]
  • Atruro Pérez-Reverte – El sol de Breda [The Sun over Breda]
  • Atruro Pérez-Reverte – El oro del rey [The King’s Gold] – The first four books in the Captain Alatriste series. I’ve never read any of these, but I read and enjoyed his standalone novel The Club Dumas (pre-blogging). Plus, they are supposed to be adventure novels (I believe similar to The Three Musketteers) and I have a fondness for adventure novels.
  • Mario Vargas Llosa – La Fiesa del Chivo [The Feast of the Goat] – I’ve wanted to read this (admittedly in English…) for a while. Whether I’ll be able to manage it in Spanish is another matter.
  • Mario Vargas Llosa – Los jefes/Los cachorros [The Chiefs/The Cubs] – I know nothing about these, but it seemed that short stories might be a good introduction to Vargas Llosa’s Spanish.
  • Carlos Fuentes – La muerte de Artemio Cruz [The Death of Artemio Cruz] – Again, I know nothing about this except the author’s name. (I think maybe we read an essay of his in Spanish class?)

So, I might have been a little over-ambitious regarding the Spanish novels. At least they were on sale…

But the day wasn’t all about book buying. Indeed, before I ever arrived at the store, I was a bit giddy with the new world of books at my fingertips I had just acquired.

I don’t really know what public libraries outside my area are like for sure, but I’ve gotten the impression that I have any awesome system. Not only do they seem to have a good selection and friendly librarians (plus free ILL, which I’ve never actually had to use), but some years ago, they linked up with 16 other systems in the state. So if my library doesn’t have a book I want, I can click on the state link, and I’m taken to another site which allows me to request from outside the local system. I’ve done do frequently, with great success. But. This doesn’t give me access to everything. There are still titles I can’t get, such as the Castle of Wolfenbach (which I will be reading for the upcoming Classics Circuit). Enter the local branch of my alma mater. Sometime in the past year or  so, they dropped the $30 per year community patron fee, so I can now, for free, order and check out books through them: up to 20 titles, including up to 5 from just about any other university in the state (all or almost all of the universities/colleges in the state have a connected system). I’ve yet to find a title that I can’t get a hold of either through the local public library OR the university library. This perhaps is more exiting to me than it really should be. At least it should help preserve my book budget!

In other matters, I’m also feeling a bit inundated by all the books I have on the schedule to read. My fault, I know. But I’m scheduled to take my last test Saturday (Yay! Almost finished!), so the temptation of extra time loomed. (On this same note, if I’m very quiet again this week, know it’s the studying. I took the penultimate test Thursday of last week and spent yesterday catching up on 5-6 days worth of blog reading.) October is looking largely open though, so hopefully I can get back to those seasonal R.I.P. titles soon!


12 thoughts on “Book, Books…y libros

  1. Nice finds! House of Mirth, Cold Comfort Farm, and Half of a Yellow Sun are all on my TBR-soon list.

    I totally know that inundated-by-books feeling. I’m there myself. Here’s to catching up soon!

    1. Perhaps my biggest problem with all the new books is that I haven’t actually placed any of them on the soon to be read list. Eventually, yes, just not soon…

      I hope we both catch up on our reading soon!

  2. Depleting the bank account – now there’s a good reason to ban books! 🙂
    I have almost all of Trollope’s Barchester novels and I have yet to read one – it’s one of my goals to read The Warden by the end of the year – hopefully I will. 🙂

    1. I really want to read some Trollope, but for whatever reason I’ve not made the time. Hopefully having one of his novels on hand will be just the spur I need to get to him!

  3. Yay for RIP and a book haul, and a big “good luck” on the test, Amanda. I know you’re longing for some freedom to read. I felt that way a couple weeks ago, as I finished up exams. It will be here before you know it. 🙂

  4. Looks like a good score (I partic. want to read that Fuentes), and congrats on regaining access to your university library. That should make things fun! I used Pérez-Reverte to work on my Spanish years and years ago, so I hope you find him entertaining and a vocab builder as I once did. ¡Saludos!

    1. Oh, I am very happy to be able to use the university library again. It just takes a little longer since most of the books I’m looking for are on main campus, but not any longer than if I have to request something from another library system.

      I’m glad to hear that about the Pérez-Reverte–that will encourage me to try his (Spanish-language) work sooner rather than later.

  5. What a beautiful pile of books! I love Wharton, was tickled by Cold Comfort Farm, and am about the read Half a Yellow Sun for a book club. I still haven’t read anything by Trollope but am dying to. As for the Spanish, no hablo espanol! (Or leer or something like that. I don’t even remember how to conjugate…)

    1. This particular pile does seem rather photogenic, doesn’t it? I can’t wait to get to it, especially the Trollope. I barely remember how to conjugate Spanish verbs anymore, but I have no problem reading them when they’ve already been conjugated. Usually. I’m hoping it all starts to come back with the reading!

  6. Awesome finds. I absolutely loved Ethan Frome, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it. 🙂

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