Monday, November 30, 2015

Black Friday Adventures at the Used Bookstore

Turns out, I can do it all. On Black Friday, I #optedoutside, got deals on-line and shopped local. I also recycled and ate leftovers. I basically saved the world in less than 24 hours. My best friend was with me for the holiday weekend and we took our usual trip to McKays (used bookstore) after a walk in Percy Warner Park. I also brought my 4-year old and told her she could have two books. She said three books and walked out with five books. I had some books to trade but didn’t need any books so I walked out with eight.

I love going to McKays and it never disappoints for entertainment value.  I started going to McKays while I was at UT-Chattanooga and was so happy when they opened here in Nashville. My Mother-in-law lives in Chattanooga but refuses to go alone so I take her when she visits. My MIL is an avid reader but only of one genre. She reads Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, Steve Martini, Brad Thor and Brad Taylor, etc. She’s also read the Bourne books more than once. I thought she would be devastated when Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn died but she just responded with, “yes, I heard about that”. Could it be that they desensitized her to their own death?

She always has books to trade and always disappointed in the trade credit. She doesn’t want to pay more than $1 for a book but wants to get her money’s worth in trade. She never remembers book trade protocol and procedures. There is panic and awkwardness and me debating on whether or not to help or just watch. She goes to her author sections and can’t remember if she’s read the books or not. She will look at my books and wonder where I came up with these selections. She usually makes it through the check-out but flounders in the cart return.

My other two guests: my best friend who doesn’t have time to read but still loves books and my daughter. I prefer to not have her with me but Lexi is a natural born shopper and a good kid. She picks out her books and then has some sort of imaginative game that keeps her in constant motion until she eventually has to poop. Every. Single. Time.

On this visit to McKays, I went with some classics that have been on my to-read list. Pride and Prejudice—I’ve watched the movie countless times and love all the things Bennet and Darcy but never read the book.  I also chose The House of Mirth and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

I picked up Atonement but immediately returned it to the McKays box in my closet. I wondered why it was familiar to me and suddenly had a flashback to my Mom saying “this is a sucky ending” and other critical words to my movie selection process.

Crazy Ladies is a book by Michael Lee West and I remember it being so funny. It’s been a long time since I’ve read it but it was a favorite of mine along with my Mom and Aunt.  It’s a dramatic southern family and I believe one of the main characters named Dorothy would fake faint just like my Aunt Dot would do in times of stress (and a crowd of witnesses).

Book Club introduced me to Jane Gardam and Old Filth. I read the other two books in that series and just read a great review of a book called The Queen of the Tambourine. I was very happy and lucky to find this one.

Several friends have raved about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo so I picked it up, too.

My last book is Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. I read The Paris Wife (Hemingway’s first wife) last month and loved it. So I want to read this one to compare.

Have you read these books? Do you have a favorite book store?


  1. Your poor MIL! She's lucky to have you help her navigate the McKay's waters.

    Not to disagree with your mom, but I loved Atonement. You know my taste in books runs toward the macabre, so take that as you will.

    I also liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but not enough to read the rest of the series. The mystery is good but so strange.

    I haven't found a used bookstore around here, but I'm sure there is one. Our local bookshop isn't as new and shiny as Parnassus, but they're super nice and can get me any book in 1-2 days. That makes them winners in my book!

  2. This made me laugh out loud: "Could it be that they desensitized her to their own death?"

    I'm an Ian McEwan fan. I loved Atonement and Amsterdam. But I wouldn't read him whilst in a depressed state.

    Have you read A Moveable Feast? It's a gem about a happy time for the Hemingways in Paris.

  3. I will look into another Ian McEwan book. Thanks for the Hemingway recommendation.