The lives of books

I seldom think of the lives of books before they come into my hands or after they leave my possession.  I’ve sold books online, traded them at bookstores, swapped them, shared them, and donated them to various places.  And I don’t generally wonder where they wind up.  I’ve bought them new at big bookstores and indies and used book stores, swapped them, found them on the sale shelf at the library.

I notice ex-libris or discard stamps but not much else about used books, unless they are damaged in some way (except for one occasion when a five dollar bill fell out of the book cover).

A used copy of Elizabeth Wein’s The Winter Price arrived today.  And on the flyleaf, Wein autographed the book with a note to the owner/buyer, who apparently worked at the post office at the time.  Hmm.  Now I’m wondering about the life and travels of this book.

 

Recent discards of TGBP2013:

Antipodes Jane by Barbara Ker Wilson — a lot of people mentioned this as an early Jane Austen fan fiction set in Australia.  Eh.

The Weaver Takes A Wife by Sherri Cobb South — Trad Regency, with a newly wealthy, non-titled hero, lots of tell tell tell, little show.

The Grail King by Joy Nash — Roman Britian-set romance.  Eh.

It’s Not About the Accent by Caridad Ferrer.  YA — if this were published today, it might be considered NA.  I liked it well enough when I first read it (2007) to keep it but upon a reread of the first few chapters it didn’t engage me enough keep reading or prompt me to put it back in the keep pile.

 

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “The lives of books

  1. Have you ever visited bookcrossing? I thought it would be a fun way to follow books but I didn’t really have any personal luck with it. Perhaps others have.

    I am *still* reading Miles books. I cannot explain this odd behavior in myself. I know exactly what I like and don’t like about the series at this point, though. Maybe I will do a post sometime blithering on about it since I have now spent so many hours in Miles’ company. Excepting Cordelia’s books of course, Komarr has turned out to be my favorite.

    I made an SBD comment on Beth’s post but it seems to not have gone through. Anyway, I really liked Paladin of Souls! Thanks for turning me onto those books. I didn’t end up finishing Hallowed Hunt. What did you think of that one?

    Did you mention Borrowers of the Night in a purge post? I just started it. I think I am using your purge posts as a reading list as anything someone will re-read/keep in a huge spring clean must be worth a try…

    Speaking of re-reading, I just “re-read” A Coalition of Lions by Wein. I had to put re-read in quotes because it turns out I never read it in the first place. I think I read the first chapter after reading The Sunbird and then put it down. I remember the reasons, not relevant to go into them here but it turns out that was a big mistake. I really, really liked it. Good, solid read like The Winter Prince and the Aksum setting is fantastic. I am very interested to hear how they work out for you. So, um, sorry for the false advertising on books I thought I had read (the other day I picked up a book I’d been wanting to read for a long time only to realize I’d already read it, my brain is clearly stuttering lately).

    • What about Komarr appeals? (I’ve always felt like Komarr is a kind of set up book for A Civil Campaign, introducing Ekaterin but not much else.)

      I’ve never re-read The Hallowed Hunt, and can’t really remember much of the plot. Given how often I’ve re-read the other two Chalion books, that’s pretty surprising and telling about my reaction I think.

      Haven’t read Borrowers of the Night. Would you recommend it?

      I found a book in the purge that I had not read before — Steve Kluger’s My Most Excellent Year — but bought based on another book by Kluger. Read it over the weekend. Loved it. Going to try to write about it today.

      I tried bookcrossing once but it never stuck. Maybe I’ll check it out again.

  2. The short answer on Komarr is Ekaterin. I tend to enjoy the books that have a lot of action surrounding the characters who are not Miles. I’ll have a longer answer when I actually follow through on a “miles post” sometime soon… if you’re interested in a longer answer that is. 🙂 I agree with the set-up aspect of the novel for ACC.

    I found The Hallowed Hunt to be very forgettable so I’m not surprised by your answer.

    Recommend Borrowers of the Night… hmm, not sure. It’s a bit dated (pub’d in 70s) and it’s one of those novels with a female MC who doesn’t have much to do with other females which always annoys me and it has characters interested in the occult which I find to be a boring aspect of a mystery plot BUT I did find it interesting for being a mystery with academics (vs. PIs or law enforcement) and for the MC’s academic life feeling maybe a bit like the author’s.

    • On mysteries with academics as sleuths, have you tried Joanne Dobson? Dobson is an English professor at Gordham, and her protagonist, Karen Pelletier, is an English lit prof at a private college in Mass. The first was about Emily Dickinson. And another was about Dashiell Hammett.

      I’d read a Miles post 🙂 He’s a not entirely likeable character although I find him sympathetic.

  3. Thanks for the mystery author tip. Have added to the tbr. Going back to Borrower of the Night… going to say not recommended. Picked up another Vickie Bliss (the MC) that is set a couple years after the first (not sure where it falls in series) and the original issues I had got worse and what I liked is almost completely gone so I’m thinking it’s not a series that improves.

    Miles post is mentally composed… just have to get around to typing it out.

    • I recognize the name Vicky Bliss — I think I’ve tried one of the books of that series, maybe? But Elizabeth Peters’ Peabody series was only average for me for the few books I tried, so I haven’t felt compelled to make an effort with any of her other series.

      I’m looking forward to the Miles post 🙂

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