Hejira

new old books

July 22. 2000

As much as I complain about it, Lebanon and the surrounding area nevertheless has a texture that really appeals to me. The place you grew up in, no matter how far you try to distance yourself physically and emotionally, remains the standard, the starting point, for your expectations of wherever you eventually end up.

Mom and I went to a used book sale today that was so quintessentially Lebanon. It was located in the municipal building/library of Palmyra, a suburb of Lebanon. The building looked like one of those well-intentioned mid-50s projects that had been neglected since about the 70s. I pulled open the dark stained wooden door. The brass handle was slightly sticky. The small lobby was permeated with the scent of bathroom. The architecture was all clean lines, stainless steel, mint green and white.

The book sale was upstairs, in a small auditorium with a shallow stage at one end that looked like it was made for USO tours. There were several long tables just filled with books, hard and soft cover, not to mention magazines and sewing patterns. Small signs separated the books by genre, though, as I found out, not entirely accurately. I got quite a kick out of finding a sex ed book from the 1950s in the "gardening" section.

As always, I was looking for the Oz books. "The Wizard of Oz" isn't the only book L. Frank Baum wrote, there are about 30 books in the series, and I think he wrote the first 13 or so. I read the first 7 or 8 when I was really little, and since then, I haven't been able to find them, in libraries or otherwise. I'm assuming they're out of print, though I would love for someone to prove me wrong, because they're really fascinating books. The actual story of "The Wizard of Oz" is worlds more interesting and complicated than the MGM movie that everyone knows. Not surprisingly though, I didn't find them.

But I did find some other stuff:

The Mammoth Hunters, by Jean M. Auel. I had this in paperback already, but I wanted to get it in hardcover. It's the third book in the Earth's Children series, and she's been working on the fifth book for the last ten years, and I'm dying to know what happens. Arrgh.

Philosophy: Who Needs It?, by Ayn Rand. What I've read of Objectivism annoys the hell out of me, but I've decided to read some more before I decide to really hate it. Ayn Rand's works were the subject of many debates between me and my friend John Kuhn whilst sitting in my car in the Foodland parking lot.

Some book on the history of the Occult. I suppose this is left over from my Wicca/Witchcraft phase about a year ago...

Some book by Andy Warhol. We seemed to have skipped Warhol for the most part in Art History, so I have to fill in the gaps somewhere.

Two Life Magazines, from 1972 and 1986. Always good for the pictures and such. I really miss Life, it always had such beautiful pictures, if nothing else.

And all that for a mere $1.50.