Book-a-palooza: Running around DC

I have gotten way behind in writing about recent book adventures, so all this week I will be posting about some of fun things I have picked up in the last couple of weeks.

I am going to kick off my book-a-palooza week with a few snaps of the books I picked up on Friday here in DC. Here is the whole pile.

First stop was Books for America which I have mentioned many times here on My Porch. I never fail to find at least a few good things whenever I go to this local charity shop. They have high turnover, good stock, and low prices. This time I came away with only four:
Family Man by Calvin Trillin
The Skin Chairs by Barbara Comyns – I have never read any Comyns so this seemed like a good buy.
Thomas Hardy by Ralph Pite – I kind of like to collect literary biographies. I don’t tend to read them, but like having them for reference.
The Life of Katherine Mansfield by Antony Alpers – Another literary bio. I have never read any of Mansfield’s work but have read so much about her on other blogs that I know I will some day.

Then we went to Capitol Hill Books. This is an old DC row house stacked to the rafters with books. And since I don’t go there often, there was a lot for me to choose from. In addition to these great books on London and Cambridge, I also got one on Wells Cathedral.

And who could pass up this beat-up old hardback copy of ICB’s A God and His Gifts? I also got a paperback of A Family and a Fortune. These were especially good finds given how scarce her books are in this country.

I already own the Vintage Classics reissue of Pied Piper, but I couldn’t say no to this great old cover. Plus I got three other titles I have never read before.


11 thoughts on “Book-a-palooza: Running around DC

  1. Frances November 28, 2010 / 12:20 pm

    Great acquisitions as usual with special appreciation for London Perceived.

    Don't want to offer too much book temptation but do you know that Books for America also sells online through an Ebay store – all of the collectibles that come their way. I have seen some of their stash out at the Fairfax warehouse and it is sweet. Check it out?


  2. harriet November 28, 2010 / 3:07 pm

    My goodness what a haul. I am very envious of the Comyns — I have read most of hers but not this one. These sound like great bookstores — what a pity I am in the UK!


  3. Ash November 28, 2010 / 4:44 pm

    I love those great vintage covers! I would like those just to copy the covers and make art out of them. Looks like you have gotten some good books!


  4. Mystica November 28, 2010 / 4:57 pm

    I have read just one Comyns not this one! Love those older books. Somehow a used old book has so much history to it! Gorgeous haul of books.


  5. Teresa November 28, 2010 / 6:51 pm

    That is a great haul! I still haven't visited Books of America–I'm almost afraid to because then I'll no longer be able to tell myself I can't find good cheap used books locally.

    I did discover on Friday a tiny thrift shop in Alexandria that has a surprisingly good selection of $1 books. I'm trying not to buy books I can get at the library, so I managed to escape with only the NYRB edition of Wish Her Safe at Home, but I'm very curious to go back and whether the selection was typical or whether I was there on an unusually good day. If it's typical, I'm afraid I'm in danger of needing more shelves :)


  6. ArchitectDesign™ November 29, 2010 / 10:29 am

    I've never been to Capitol Hill Books but I just may have to pay them a visit. My overcrowded bookshelves do NOT thank you in advance!


  7. chasingbawa November 29, 2010 / 5:10 pm

    That's a great haul Thomas! Lots of titles by Shute I've never heard of!


  8. Thomas at My Porch November 30, 2010 / 1:47 pm

    Frances: I chatted with the clerk at B of A about the warehouse location. He said they were planning on opening it to the public sometime in the future. I don't like buying used books online but I might have to check out their stock.

    Harriet: The title of the Comyns sounds terrifying.

    Ash: They are great covers aren't they?

    Mystica: I am looking forward to reading the Comyns.

    Teresa: $1 books? Where? And next time you are near Dupont Circle you must go to B of A.

    Stefan: You haven't seen overcrowded until you have been to this shop.

    Sakura: I felt the same way. I couldn't believe finding three titles I had never heard of.


  9. Hannah Stoneham December 5, 2010 / 8:21 am

    What a fab pile Thomas, especially the skin chairs! Enjoy them all….



  10. Joanna January 11, 2011 / 4:48 pm

    Wow are you a reader.

    Katherine Mansfield would sit right with you and have a cup of chamomile tea if she know you might read her biography.

    I know this because I just spent three years researching her journals, writings and life story to come up with a biographical novel based on her life: “In Pursuit . . .”

    You said in your blog that you would get to her biography some day so here is another Katherine Mansfield book to add to that list.

    Meanwhile visit my site if you would like to know more about her:

    all my best,

    Joanna FitzPatrick


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