February 29, 2012

Chasing Tale for February 29th, 2012: James M. Cain, Christopher Fowler, Dan Simmons ...

After the glut of e-books I downloaded to my new Kindle over the Christmas holidays, I felt kind of guilty because when I browsed through the independent bookstore at the mall over the holidays--twice--and had a disappointing time on both occasions. I scoured the shelves, meandering from one end of the store to the other and back again, and found only one book on display that sparked my interest. And since I hate leaving a bookstore empty-handed, I bought it. Sure, the store isn't that big compared to a big chain store like Chapters, but it's the biggest one in my neck of the woods with considerably more shelf space than the more local one that's basically a couple shelves and a turnstile display inside a gift shop.

Sure, I could have called ahead of time to order a book I wanted, then waited 3-4 weeks before getting it, which I have done multiple times in the past, but if I wanted to do that I could just order the book via Book Depository (provided it was available) and have it sent straight to my mailbox with free shipping, and maybe even a discount off the sticker price to boot. And when it comes time to support local business, I order books through the used-bookshop that's within walking distance. Never mind the sinful convenience of reading e-books now that I have a Kindle. When I take the time out of my day to browse a bookstore, I want it to be a store where there's a good chance--if not a guaranteed chance--that I'll find a book I want to buy. These days, it's the used-bookshops that are more reliable in that department than the ones selling the bestsellers.

I mean, it's bad enough the genre fiction is relegated to the very back of the store, but when half of those books are written by a half-dozen of the big-name players, the selection is quite simply inadequate for a guy like me. The whole experience taught me that my taste in books and the inventory of a brick-and-mortar store just don't jibe. I'll keep supporting independent bookstores, but from now on I am not going to feel bad if I leave empty-handed.

Enough belly-aching. Let's have a peak at the books I got this month, including the one book I bought at the mall:

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain - This is one of those classic novels that I figure I have gotta read before I die. It's also the kind of book I imagine will be best read from the well-worn 60s-era paperback I got for less than a toonie. These are the kind of little discoveries I enjoy when I browse a used-bookshop.

Hell Train by Christopher Fowler - I spied the cover of this book a couple months back on Fantasy BookCritic, then I read a couple reviews for it on blogs I subscribe to, and figured a horror novel with a heavy Hammer Films influence could be really entertaining. This is that one book I found at the mall, and considering it looks like an out-and-out horror novel, I was frankly surprised it was shelved in the store at all. It must have been an oversight on the store's part, because the only other horror novels in that store have King or Koontz on the cover.

Sadie Walker Is Stranded by Madeleine Roux - I won a copy of this book courtesy of Suzanne Johnson's Preternatura blog. I've read a couple positive reviews for this one, the cover is nicely done, and I've yet to grow weary of the zombie genre. Hopefully, this one holds up.

The Terror by Dan Simmons - This was a find at my local used-bookshop. Seeing a book with Simmons' name on the cover catches my eye instantly, though I've yet to grab one of his sci-fi novels. Someday perhaps, but I'll need to read this and Drood first.

So those are the paperbacks added to my shelf this month. How is the selection at your local bookstore?

1 comment:

  1. I love The Terror. There was such a slow build that I loved.