Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Location: United States

Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Wisdom for 25 cents

I've recently developed the habit of shopping for books at thrift stores. It's much less guilt-inducing than visiting your typical Evil Empire store or buying online, for one thing: not only do I leave with a huge stack of books for less than $10 and no shipping costs, but I'm supporting a good cause. This also means that I can be just as impulsive as I like: when books only cost somewhere between 25 cents and a couple of dollars, I can give them away to friends or bookcross them with abandon. I can take more risks on buying things I'm not absolutely sure I'll like or use, too. Not to mention that people give away some utterly fascinating and marvelous books: it's like a treasure hunt!

I've been especially thrilled by the children's books I keep finding. So many people seem to toss out their kids' books--or their own childhood books--once they're "outgrown." This lack of foresight bewilders me. Don't these people realize how delightful and wise a good children's book is? Don't they know they ought to re-read their favorites every couple of years to remind themselves of who they are? Don't they think they'll ever know a child who needs those books?

At any rate, their mistake is my gain. During the last few months, I've found a first edition of Ezra Jack Keats's Snowy Day, a gorgeous copy of The Wind in the Willows, a perfect The Very Hungry Caterpillar board book, a beautiful illustrated copy of The Secret Garden, a spotless Phantom Tollbooth, and loads of spooky kids' books to give away on Halloween. Yesterday, I found a somewhat battered copy of Miss Rumphius, which every single one of you ought to own--or at least borrow from somewhere.

I think this habit is likely to stick.