I’ve been saving money from my sale of used books to buy a secondhand copy of Haruki Murakami’s latest tome, 1Q84. Originally the novel sold for over $30. I’ve saved $12 and hope I can find his masterpiece at a bargain price now that a year has passed since its publication.
I admit, I can afford to buy new books, but I can also afford to wait for a sale. I’ve a list of titles I want to read, so time is on my side. Finding a wonderful book at half the cost is a sport and constitutes a double happiness.
Not only am I penurious in my reading habits, but I am also lazy. I gravitate to familiar authors over and over again. If books were food, my behavior would be equivalent to preferring jelly beans to peas. Fortunately, the Dollar Store keeps me balanced. They offer a smorgasbord of publishing house scraps over which I have no control, but loving a bargain, as I do, I’m willing to risk sampling the works of a writer who is unknown to me.
My most recent introduction was to Patricia Cornwell, a world famous mystery author whose stories are in as many translations as those of Murakami. For $1, she provided me with a fine tale, complete with characters so deep, and so fully formed, that if they stepped from her pages and into the world, they’d already have a rich history.
I shall always love my jelly beans and old friends like Haruki Murakami, or Martha Grimes or Carola Dunn with whom I am entirely comfortable. But discovery is good, especially when it comes at a delicious price. Thanks to the Dollar Store, I’m learning to become omnivorous.
(Patricia Cornwell courtesy of www.us.penguingroup.com)