Secondhand

One of my (very few) vices is thrift shopping. What I love most of all is those old, smelly, thrift shops with a back room or collection of boxes filled with books. Paperbacks for 50 cents, hardcovers 75 cents.  I was at such a thrift shop today.

I never know what I’m looking for until I find it. I usually have a list on my phone of books that I’d love to find thrifting : Choke (Palahniuk), anything Anne Lamott, the Divergent Trilogy (Roth) etc. And I always pick up any copies of Atonement by Ian McEwan that I see. It’s my favorite book, and I always like giving copies away to my friends. (I currently have three copies on my bookshelf.)

Today, though, I did better than I have in a while. I picked up Pablo Neruda’s “The Captain’s Verses” poetry collection, Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology”, Emily Dickinson’s “Final Harvest” poetry collection, Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted , and Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth. All for $2.50. Very thrilling, I know.

I just tore through the Neruda collection, and the poem titled “Not Only the Fire” literally made me cry. He’s such an incredible poet. Take time to read this poem, if you have the chance.

And go to thrift shops and rummage through dusty old books. Get excited about what you might find, even if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Embrace the history of a book that has been read by someone else, even though they’ve let it go.  It’s there for you to find, and love.

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