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Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic


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Currently reading

The Summer Tree
Guy Gavriel Kay
Progress: 10/383 pages
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
Nancy MacLean
Progress: 134/574 pages
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
Northrop Frye
Progress: 43/200 pages
All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Progress: 73/383 pages
Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
Kay Mussell
Progress: 17/157 pages
The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
Really Neat Rocks: A casual introduction to the rocks & gems of Arizona and the lapidary arts
Linda Hilton
Progress: 61/61 pages
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer
The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende
History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718
Wallace Notestein

The New Used Book Store

It's called Mostly Books by Mary Ann.


I stopped in this morning on my way to the post office.  It was pouring torrential rain, to the point that the driveway into the parking lot was a raging flood.  I drove through it at a slow crawl and still gushed water all the way over the roof of the Blazer.


Mary Ann was sitting at the front desk, playing with some sort of electronic device that emitted a little chirp every few seconds.  With one exception, this continued the entire half hour I was in the store.


She is white-haired, a little frail.  I'd guess her to be in her mid-70s at least.  She seemed cheerful enough, but didn't offer any real introduction to the store, other than to say non-fiction was in the front and fiction in the back.  That's when she got up to turn on the lights in the back, and for those few brief moments the electronic chirping ceased.  After the lights were on, she went back to the desk and the chirping resumed.


The front area of non-fiction is much larger than the back fiction section.  A lot of books on travel, local and international. Lots of do-it-yourself books, on woodworking, building log and adobe homes, pottery, and so on.  (For some reason or other, "craft" books are in the back with the fiction.)  One whole section is devoted to religion, dominated by Bibles and other Christian literature but with a smattering of Eastern religions and even a little "New Age."  There was a brand-new Angel Tarot deck in a sealed package that I almost bought.


Another large section contained Western Americana - cowboys, pioneers, Native American culture and history.


Beyond those broad categories nothing was sorted in any kind of order.  Looking for a book on building an adobe house?  I saw at least four of them, but they weren't next to each other.  They were separated by books on making your own mission-style furniture, backyard barbecue pit, or potter's wheel, raising chickens, and laying brick.  Alphabetical by author?  Are you kidding?  In the religion and philosophy section, Thoreau was next to Gandhi was next to St. Thomas Aquinas was next to Norman Vincent Peale.


Fiction fared little better.  She had a good supply of what looked like newer paperback westerns, but that's not my thing so I didn't give them more than half a glance.  I found the romance section, where at least the authors were separated by last initials, but no further.  I'd guess 90% of the romances were single-title historicals, the rest being long contemporaries.  I saw one paperback copy of Madeleine Brent's Stormswift identical to the one I have, so I didn't grab it.  No Whitneys, no Holts.  There was no section allocated to gothics.  (Let me know if anyone wants the Brent.  I have to go into town again on Monday and will see if it's still available.)


Mysteries were not in any kind of order at all, nor were science fiction and fantasy.


There were boxes and boxes and boxes of unpacked books in a side area.


I was in the store for half an hour.  I saw no signage other than a piece of pink paper taped to the end of one shelf.  An arrow pointing one way said "crafts," and the arrow pointing the other way said "mysteries."


The few books I took off the shelves had no prices on them.  Nor did the tarot deck.  I saw no signs indicating whether this was a place to trade in books for a discount on purchases or what.  Many of the books were obvious library discards; there were a lot of what I'd call "antique" books, older than 1940.


All in all, it was a disappointing experience.  I may go back when I have more time, but I'm not expecting much.