3 Dollars Worth of Literature

May 22nd, 2011

Have I mentioned that I love Housing Works? They run a fantastic Bookstore Cafe on Crosby Street in SoHo that both collects and sells an amazing panoply of used books and records. I finally gave up trying to give away my recent reading material and decided to donate it to Housing Works. In fact, I think I bought most of it there in the first place.

Of course the best part about donating your books when you’re through with them is that it gives you a perfect excuse to scoop up a few new titles while you’re in the shop. Here’s my haul from today’s jaunt:


I always head straight for the 50 cent rack — they may have a little more wear on the spine, but they’re perfect for dragging around the City (I do much of my reading while I walk — yes, I’m that nut you banged into earlier with her nose buried in a copy of Dubliners — at least it’s better than running into people because you’re texting on your mobile phone). So this impressive array cost a mere $3 plus tax. My companion, he of the exquisitely eclectic taste, snagged a Frank Sinatra LP and a first edition of Oboler’s Omnibus. If you don’t know who Arch Oboler was, ask someone who was born before you were.

I actually hated Sister Carrie, and vowed never to read another book by Dreiser. But I know enough about the plot of American Tragedy to have had my curiosity piqued. I’ve never read anything by Zane Grey, but early 20th century westerns are a guilty pleasure in which I indulge too rarely. The Trollopes are because someone (I only wish I could remember who) told me I’d enjoy him more than Hardy. Evangeline needs no explanation; though perhaps I should tell you it holds particular meaning thanks to my fifth grade history project where I recreated an Acadian folk-costume. Last but not least, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution is a silly present for a friend.

Have you read any of these? Tell me what you thought — but please don’t spoil the endings!