Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One Of My Favorite Things: Shopping at Bookstores

With the rise in popularity of digital books, I envision a future with fewer bookstores. Hopefully, my prediction does not come to pass because shopping at bookstores, particularly used bookstores, is one of my favorite pastimes. A couple of years ago, I purchased a Kindle and have found it great while traveling, but doesn’t it seem like digital books are just not as fun? Yes, you can have instant gratification by downloading a book, but personally I find it more satisfying to order a book the old-fashioned way or discovering it in a store or even borrowing it through interlibrary loan. There’s something about anticipating the arrival of a book that is thrilling. I can’t deny the convenience factor of being able to download books or view books online, but still I can’t help be saddened by changes in the book world.
Happily, I visited the Dickson Street Bookshop in Fayetteville, Arkansas, recently and came away with what I thought were some wonderful finds. They are:
Barber, Lucius W. Army Memoirs. reprint ed. Time-Life Books, 1984. (hardcover) Barber served in the 15th Illinois Infantry, a unit that served in Missouri and then in the western theater.
Frost, Griffin. Camp and Prison Journal. reprint ed., Iowa City: Camp Pope Bookshop, 1994. (hardcover) This is the account of a Confederate soldier confined at several prisons including Camp Gratiot Street (St. Louis), Alton, Camp Douglas, and Camp Morton.
Mahan, Russell L. Fayetteville, Arkansas In The Civil War. Bountiful, UT: Historical Byways, 2003. (signed by the author; softcover) Since I travel to Fayetteville regularly, this will be an interesting read for me.
Scott, Kim Allen. The Fighting Printers of Company E. reprint ed. Johnson, AR: Kinnally Press, 1987. (softcover) First published in the Arkansas Historical Quarterly, this article reprinted as a booklet, is about Company E of the 11th Kansas Infantry. The piece deals mainly with the publication of the Buck & Ball newspaper by the “fighting printers” at Cane Hill, Arkansas. On the inside back cover the following appears: “This entire booklet was letterpress printed, the same method used by the printers in Company E…The presswork was performed by the author on a hand fed 1903 model Chandler and Price platen press.” Neat!

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