Monday, July 27, 2020
Book Haul: Second Story Books in Rockville, MD
Last week I made an amazing discovery. I had to drive up to Rockville, Maryland, to drop off my dog for kenneling, and was delighted to discover it was literally around the block from Second Story Books, a huge warehouse of used books that I'd been meaning to visit since I moved here a year ago. I hadn't been inside a bookstore since January, so it's probably not a surprise that I spent an hour perusing the shelves. All my promises to curtail book buying went completely out the window.
Here's what I got, in case you can't make out the titles in the photo. From top to bottom:
The Square Egg and Other Sketches With Three Plays by Saki
The Beautiful Visit by Elizabeth Jane Howard
The Curate's Wife by E. H. Young
Bobbin Up by Dorothy Hewett
Fish Perferred by P. G. Wodehouse
Kilmeny of the Orchard by L. M. Montgomery
Ordeal by Nevil Shute
Emile Zola: A Biography by Alan Schom
And until I got to the checkout desk I completely forgot that everything was 50% off! So the grand total for these eight volumes (plus a book of poetry for my daughter) was less than $23!
It was so nice to be in an actual bookstore again -- of course masks were required, and we were given plastic gloves, but it was a real treat to browse through the stacks and aisles, and climb up the ladders. Second Story Books is a big warehouse -- not as big as the Strand in New York or John King Books in Detroit, but a big space crammed haphazardly full of books, some on shelves two deep. Some of the bookshelves are probably 12 feet off the ground and I was leery of climbing the ladders that high, but it was an absolute delight to do something almost normal.
I'm particularly pleased about the two Viragos, which are tricky to find on this side of the Atlantic, and Kilmeny of the Orchard is a beautiful 1910 edition with a lovely colored plate inside. The Saki and the Wodehouse are both from 1929, and the Nevil Shute is from 1939. They all have the previous owners' names inside which I always love, it gives such a sense of history to a book.