After lunch at the Copper Dome this morning, Sheila and I headed over to Sixth Chamber Used Books. Sixth Chamber is one of my favorite bookstores in the Twin Cities; they have an excellent range of books in primo condition. You will never get home and discover you have just paid $10 for a book with pink highlighting in it.
Best of all, you can bring in used books and get credit for them (they also offer cash, but you get a better deal with the credit and after all, one will always need books). From my (very personal) perspective, I consider literature, poetry, and religion to be Sixth Chamber’s strongest suits. But then also, a good selection of cookbooks and food writing, a solid mystery section, and a huge history section (I already have far too many history books on my shelf that I want to read, so I rarely linger in history).
My happiest find of the day was Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. This has been on my radar for years, but it’s expensive ($27.50 in paperback!) and to find it seeming brand new for $10—well, I was happy right there. But of course it’s a bookstore and one must browse.
While I was browsing, the owner called me over to look in a box of books (this was 1 of 8 that they purchased)—from a book reviewer. Each book of poetry had a post-it with the reviewer’s overall summary. What a treasure trove! I didn’t go too deeply into the box before I found one that intrigued me: Cloudy with a Fire in the Basement, by Ronna Bloom. Paging through the book, reading a snippet here and there, I found it very appealing. The verdict from the reviewer:
NO. Not enough emotion. BUT. There is a brevity that I enjoy. Each poem is a perfect little idea-machine. Crystalline: cold and pretty.
I love this! I love the idea of each poem as a perfect little idea machine. And I love having the little post-it that I will forever keep with the book. (I suggested they charge an extra dollar for the note, which of course they won’t do. But I still say having the note in the book will always make it extra special.)
In the religion section I found Joan Chittister’s The Friendship of Women: The Hidden Tradition of the Bible. A short book with each chapter focusing on a different woman of the Bible, I was intrigued. Chapters include Deborah (wisdom), Esther (leadership), Ruth (availability), and Miriam (joy). There are more, but those are the names I most recognize.
I also got The Yoga of Time Travel: How the Mind Can Defeat Time, by Fred Alan Wolf, physicist. He won the National Book Award for Taking the Quantum Leap, which I didn’t find particularly compelling, but it was understandable; and I figured I’m interested in yoga and time travel, so if Fred Alan Wolf can make it understandable, I’m all for it.
Plus I got Just Checking: Scenes From the Life of an Obsessive-Compulsive, by Emily Colas (the book I seem to be most compelled to read, as it is the only one I’ve started and I’m already several pages in).
And lastly, a novel: Hungry Woman in Paris, by Josefina Lopez. A journalist, an activist, food, France—what’s not to like?
I am rich in books. And I still have some credit left over!