I have, more or less, moved completely over to the iPad for all my reading needs. Comics on the iPad are a cinch – a helluva lot easier than storing boxes of back issues. And as for novels, it’s pretty rare that I can’t find a good .epub version somewhere online.

So I’m pretty well set.

Still, there are occasions when I still need to turn to a hard copy. For example, it’s nice to have a paperback to take with me to the spa, where the iPad would likely get lost or broken. Or on the rare occasion when I can’t find an electronic version of an older novel.

But I’m also cheap, and therefore disinclined to spend full price on new books. The option: a used book store. And if I’m going to be completely honest, that avenue of literature had kind of slipped my mind until last weekend, when our out-of-town guests asked to go book shopping. I DO have a favorite used store – the Book Bazaar stocks old piano scores – and so it wasn’t a problem to make a recommendation. But it had been more than a year since my last visit.

Because I’ve been on break from playing piano – a situation I need to rectify soon – that store has been off my radar; probably why I had forgotten about the option of used books. Upon entering, my first instinct was to bee-line for the music scores, where I was rewarded with three short pieces worth picking up. It has even prompted me to sit back down in front of the piano (I really do need to find more piano time).

But once I got through the wall of scores, I had a little extra time to browse the fiction aisles, where I found two books I’ve been wanting to read for a while.

A friend I trust suggested this many moons ago, and I’m finally getting around to it now.

The Great Gatsby has been on my list lately because it’s “a classic” and because there’s a Baz Luhrmann film adaptation coming out later this year. I’ve cracked it open, but I’ve been too tired at night to make progress. Still, I’m more excited about the second find, which makes me even happier that Gatsby is as short as it is (something I wasn’t expecting). Because there’s a time limit based on the film’s release date, I do need to read Gatsby first, but then I’m moving on to the real prize: Shogun by James Clavell.

I don’t know if I’ll like this 1200 page behemoth, but I’ve wanted to check it out for ages. I’ve had no luck finding an E-version online, so when I rounded the first shelf to see it laying there, I actually gasped before snatching it up.

It may turn out to be utterly boring, but for $6, it’s worth the risk.


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