20 April 2010

Read any good books lately?

In my line of work, I read a few books. Often they're the same ones over again, and very few are very new, but I do read. I recently read James Baldwin's Another Country. It's a pretty daunting text if only for the fact that the bulk of the text is marked by the absence of the initial main character -- a bit like Waiting for Godot except Rufus has already come and gone and isn't coming back.

I'm going to revisit Baldwin this summer, especially after I get my copy of The Price of the Ticket. I kept seeing references to this text throughout Baldwin scholarship and in tangential pieces on Baldwin or people Baldwin commented on, so I figured I'd go pick it up. After all, it's Baldwin's collected essays and Baldwin was as well known an essayist as he was a novelist, so it's got to be an easy score, right?


The book is out of print. It came out in 1985, just two years before Baldwin died, and it covers the years 1948-1985. How does something like that go out of print? So yeah it's out of print, but not difficult to find, as long as you're not looking for the signed or numbered or first printing first edition copies.

So I'm waiting on that.

I'm also waiting on a used reading copy of Willa Cather's Not Under Forty. Here's another text I can't believe is out of print. It's Cather's reflections on culture and the state of literature as she looks back late in her career.

And both of these texts, by the way, are also unavailable at my current university's library, which is why abebooks.com is one thing I definitely thank the interwebz for...I've made up for many a lack in library resources and the absence of local used bookstores (or quite frankly of any sort of local bookstores outside of BigBoxBookWarehouse up near the highway) with a few searches on abebooks.com.

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