When I was younger, more naive, and more pompous, I steered clear of bestsellers. I assumed that they were for “the masses” and therefore, not me. The problem with that is a lot of our classic literature was created and read by the masses. It’s a bit childish to hold a book’s popularity against it. I remember seeing The DaVinci Code in hardback in bookstores. Then it was the paperback. Then, another special hardback, with illustrations. I wondered, how did this book get reprinted in hardback, for more money than the original hard cover? I read the description and thought, “ohhh, now I get it.” I purchased the more expensive illustrated edition and read.
One of my favorite things to do is look for books at thrift stores. It’s a bit compulsive; I start to wonder if I’m missing out on great finds if I miss a week. The majority of books I buy are used. It’s comforting to take home a used book. Perhaps it was misunderstood by the previous owner who didn’t recognize its beauty. Or perhaps the previous owner did love it but had to donate it because of a move. Either way, there is solace in giving a new home to an old book. That is the point of books, they are whole worlds that live on despite the author, publisher, owner, and reader.
This year I started thrifting before Thanksgiving. I scored some great finds for my friends’ gifts. The holidays are about spending time with people you love and respect. Giving gifts is super fun but sometimes unintentionally induces stress over what to buy and how much to spend. Giving a clean, used book is a great present that costs less than a well drink.
I just wanted to share some great reads with the people who make my life better.
The Cuckoo’s Calling was written by J. K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Rowling created this pseudonym so she could have the freedom to write without expectation and receive honest feedback from editors and critics. She did not want her latest novel to be judged against her past—the Harry Potter series. Her pseudonym is a man who worked in the Special Investigation Branch of the military, which would explain why his photo was not included on the dust jacket or the lack of author appearances.