Monday, September 07, 2009

Tales of an Intrepid Explorer

William James Booksellers are located in downtown Port Townsend. They sell used and collectible books. I cannot come to PT without paying a visit to the shop. Today, we strolled in at about 11 o'clock in the morning. I wanted a book. Note: a book. My hosts bought seven books. I bought four. The odd thing was, we had been talking about books over breakfast, and when we got to the store, we kept seeing the books we had talked about. It was as if our browsing were a continuation of our breakfast conversation. I know. It was a bookstore.Of course we were seeing books. But who would expect to find a copy of A Confederacy of Dunces? That's fairly obscure, and I wasn't looking for it. It just appeared. I didn't buy it, though. As I walked up and down the aisles, my hands kept reaching out, of their own accord, and snatching books from the shelves. As I walked, I would look down and see that I had picked up yet another book. Where did I get that, and why? Where did it belong? I would have to retrace my steps and put the stowaway back where it came from. It was only by virtue of stony self-discipline that I escaped with only four books. I did buy a Strunk & White to replace mine that's gone missing, a copy of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, the Collected Poems of Czeslaw Milosz, and Yann Martel's The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios. I was grinning as I walked out the door. Ah. A successful hunt - but oh, the ones that got away!

Our treasures in hand, we headed to one of the local coffee shops, and on the way there, we came across the Women in Black. I didn't know about this group until today. I wonder whether we have a chapter in Nanaimo. They were very impressive. This is their website. Their mission statement begins "We stand in silence because words alone cannot express the tragedy that wars and hatred bring." I was touched by their commitment and courage.

We drove around for a little longer, enjoying the dramatic sky and the seascape, then headed home to have a look at the books we had bought.

One of the books that followed Rita home was Richard Lederer's Bride of Anguished English. When we got home, she started to read it aloud, but she kept collapsing in a heap of giggles. Next we knew, her husband and I were laughing helplessly, and all three of us were wiping tears from our faces. If you haven't read Lederer's books, I highly recommend that you do. Buy the books, and save them for a day when you need to laugh. They are strong medicine.

Later, there was dinner at La Fiesta Jalisco Restaurant in Port Hadlock. I had chicken with mole. It came with rice and beans and salad. Afterward, I rolled out to the car, far too full to walk. (Okay, I exaggerate - but only a little).

Our friend from Texas arrived in town today, and tomorrow we will all be going to the Thai restaurant for lunch. This is a great mini-holiday. I promise to visit all my bloggy friends when I get home to Nanaimo, but there's just so much to do here!


Dominic Rivron said...

There is an unpassable second hand bookshop not too far from here, too. It is virtually impossible to go through Sedburgh without dropping in.

I'm pretty slow on the uptake... How on earth is it that there are no footprints in your header photo? It's either a neat bit of photoshopping - or the turtles did it...

Barb said...

I'm bad for buying books - or good at it. I guess it depends on your perspective. There are so many that I just need to have.

Also just dropping off this KREATIV BLOG AWARD. You can find more details about this on my blog. Thanks for all the inspiration you give me in your posts!

John Hayes said...

Sounds like a lovely vacation! I'm with Dominic (also in the fact I didn't notice it)--where are the footrpints? Shopped or cropped? Hope your time away continues to be fun.

Anonymous said...

Heh, heh, heh...these are the best type of book stores to get lost in, yes? Iprob'ly would've walked away with the lot of 'em-LOL!

Sandra Leigh said...

Dominic and John - I confess, I hadn't noticed. My friend Rita just told me about a rock that's poking its head into the right-hand side of the photo. I suppose I'll crop that out, one of these days. I suspect that the reason there are no footprints is that the sand was very hard - or I walk very softly. ;>)

Barb - an award? Thank you! I'll be right over.

Sandra Leigh said...

Subby, you should see it. The shelves go from the floor to way, way over my head. It's like diving headfirst into deep, cool water.

Anonymous said...

Sandra, that's me up on the high-diving board-LOL! "Cannonball!!"

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