December 27, 2013

"Oh, you evil temptress..."

Last summer, I chanced upon a copy of Hello Sailor at a second-hand bookstore. Snagging such a score reminded me of how I used to buy books (back in the Paleolithic Era before the internet). Yes, I was one of those superficial magpies who would agree to date books for the cars they drove, or the suits they wore. I mean, I fell in love with titles and the covers. With the mystery of what might await me.

I discovered several of my favorite authors this way. I bought David Lodge's Ginger, You're Barmy on a whim in England. The original cover of The Further Adventures of Slugger McBatt by W.P. Kinsella called out to me from a bookstore shelf in San Francisco. And I devoured the Delacorta books—one after the other after the other—on a trip to Manhattan. Their jello-pretty packaging drew me in. The rhythm and poetry of the words won my heart. I read one a day on my trip.

Hello Sailor was my first completely magical experience like that in a long fucking time. And I have to say, I love this book. Love it. I don't know why there isn't a Kindle edition. Hello Sailor has its own Wiki page, but the write-up doesn't do the book justice. I want to stop reading constantly and share the funny parts with whoever is nearby. (So if you're in line at the post office, and a silver-streaked girl in nerd glasses starts reading passages to you from a battered copy, that's me.)

So I'm wondering. How do you find books? Do you take recommendations from friends? Search reviews online? Read excerpts in magazines? Or do you experience love-at-first line? You had me at Hello, Sailor.


P.S. The lipstick above is called Hello Sailor, and when I posted a link, CB Potts called me an evil temptress. Which I'm pretty damn happy about, I must say. The cologne is by Gaultier. I like the sexy, sailor-y bottle.


CJ Lemire said...

W.P. Kinsella of Shoeless Joe/Field of Dreams fame? Sweet. And I have to admit, I initially questioned whether that was an actual lipstick, or a vibrator.

/Tangent CJ

Miz Angell said...

I have various methods of choosing books. Mostly it's by cover in the second hand book store, where one can afford to take a risk on a sexy, come-hither cover. I also go on recommendations from friends. But mainly, I just wing it. If the cover and the flap cover appeal to me, chances are I'll purchase it. There have been a few instances where I'm disappointed, but more often than not, the book works for me.

Also, when I used to get the Kindle freebies from Amazon, I did discover quite a few authors that I normally would have dismissed as "not my type".

Alison Tyler said...

Yes, CJ. That one! I loved this book of short stories. My copy's so battered, the pages fall out when I turn them.

And friend recommendations, Miz. Yes. I am all about those. When someone says they love a book, I want to read it. Just to see why. (I'm the same way with music, actually.)