April 30, 2012

Chasing Tale in March/April: Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Joe R. Lansdale ...

It's safe to say I'm reading more e-books than physical books these days, but the contributing factor for that is review commitments, nearly all of which have been e-books. That's fine by me since I got a Kindle for Christmas, but my love for the paperback hasn't diminished. I still browse bookstores and get books through online stores like Book Depository and Better World Books, which each offer discounted books and free shipping. I recently read a guest post by a British author named Mark Williams (read it here) that discussed how the prognostication on the demise of traditional publishing is a tad overblown. Yeah, I don't think the Big 6 are going anywhere, no matter how hard some proselytize to the contrary. Last I checked, despite the decimation of the music industry, the major music labels are still out there making profits.

What I have to wonder about is how long bookshops that get by selling used-books have before they start dropping off the face of the earth. For me, there are two stores within a fifteen-minute drive, but there used to be three until a year or so ago. Granted, the old gal who closed up her bookshop had been around since the dawn of the Gutenberg press. Half her inventory reflected that, too. But still, the idea that there is one less bookstore in my area is sad. Rural areas don't have the luxury of what a city, or even a large town, has at its disposal. On the other hand, the availability of books in my town--village may be more apt these days--has actually improved in the last ten years. The used-book shop is a new business in the last decade, and I'm at a loss to think of when the town last had a bookstore, assuming it ever had one. And the town library underwent renovations and moved into a proper building, whereas for a long time it existed as a cramped section of the town hall's basement.

I don't know what the next decade has in store, but I am loathe to think of a future sans bookstores.

Anyway, here are the books I bought or won over the last couple months:

Breathers by S.G. Browne - Those zombies just won't quit, man. They cannot be stopped from invading the minds of countless authors, and S.G. Browne is no exception. I won this book from Velvet over at vvb32reads

Blonde on a Broomstick by Carter Brown - I have no idea who Carter Brown is (apparently the pen name for Alan Yates after a quick Wiki search), but I spied a handful of old paperbacks from the 60s and 70s at the local bookshop. They look irresistibly pulpy with a blend of crime and horror, so I grabbed this one in hopes they'll be my cup of tea.

Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher - One of the names that came up again and again during March's Urban Fantasy Marathon was Jim Butcher. I'd seen and heard the name plenty in my meanderings through the blogosphere, Twitterverse, and podcastmagoria (just made that word up), so I bought a used copy when I found it.

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King - Chances are pretty good that if you like Stephen King's novels, you'll love his novellas. I talked about this latest collection of four novellas in Wish List Wednesday #81. I think The Mist might still be my favorite of his novellas, but he's got quite a few under his belt and all the ones I've read have been really good. And I expect more of the same when I sit down to read these.

The Complete Drive-In by Joe R. Lansdale - I was window-shopping on Book Depository a while back, looking for a book to choose from after winning a giveaway, and stumbled across this collection. I've had it on my wish list for a while, but kind of let it slip off the radar. So, thanks to Jessica at Books: a true story for sending this one my way.

The Magdalena Vol. 1 by Ron Marz - Since I got into reading graphic novels a couple years ago, most of the stuff I've read has been published by Marvel and DC. On a lark, I entered a giveaway on a blog a recently discovered called I Smell Sheep. I won and the prize was this graphic novel from Top Cow. So thanks to Katie Dalton over there at the Sheep. I'm looking forward to reading this one.

Bite Me by Christopher Moore - The funniest thing about picking up this book at a used-book shop is the fact that I found it in the literary section alongside some very dour and sullen looking novels. That got a laugh out of me, enough so that I decided I needed to get it. I'm not familiar with Moore's work, but I recently listened to a podcast interview he did, which was enough for me to place his new novel, Sacré Bleu, on my wish list.

All of these titles can be found on Amazon, too:

1 comment:

  1. My current home town is lucky enough to support two great used book stores, only a few blocks away from each other...and one street down from the public library, which is also quite nice! I frequent them both (one more so than the other) when I feel like having a good "browse", meaning that I'm not looking for any title in particular. I definitely hope the economy can keep them afloat indefinitely.

    On a side note, it seems (on the surface, at least) almost as if e-book publishing would damage NEW book stores more so than USED book stores. Nearly all newer titles are being published simultaneously in e-format, whereas there are legions of older titles that haven't (yet) been released as e-books, making used book stores the only place to locate copies of them. Granted, new book stores tend to be parts of a corporate giant that can stand a much bigger hit than the little guys who deal only in pre-owned copies.

    Now that I'm writing this out, I realize something: I have anxiously been awaiting the day when publishers see the benefit of releasing their back-catalog of Out of Print titles as e-books, as this would make a whole new world of reading easily accessible. However, that very accessibility could be the final nail in the used book store's coffin.

    It's late, I'm tired, and I'm sure my ramblings make very little sense to anyone else, so I'll leave it at that.