The Allure of Books

I spent last weekend helping a friend get acquainted with Springfield’s treasure trove of used bookstores. He collects several book series and authors, several of which I also collect: books by Erle Stanley Gardner, including those he wrote as A. A. Fair, and Rex Stout. He also collects several children’s mystery series. The best of the four stores we had time for were the two on Campbell–Hooked on Books and the Book Castle. If I only had more shelf space, either one of those stores could have filled it.

Since I can’t stop buying books altogether, I have to do something. An e-reader beats buying a larger house simply for the books, which would be what I’d be doing if I went for a larger house. As it is, this is the largest house I’ve ever had; I’m happy with its size, location, and condition. On the other hand, Kindle doesn’t have any titles by Erle Stanley Gardner and the only Rex Stout listed is a travel book. There are definitely availability gaps. I also keep up with contemporary poetry and Kindle does not. The likelihood of Amazon releasing any of the titles I use to teach or need for research is less than zero. Here’s hoping that Apple has something in the works.

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Author of the poetry collection The Tethered Ground and Professor of English at Missouri State University. Contact me for readings or for workshops on writing/publishing and on teaching writing online.

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