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.