Wonderbooks, Frederick, Maryland

The clerk in the aisle of the huge used bookstore asks, “What are you looking for?”  What am I looking for?  It’s not so much a matter of looking for something.  It’s more a matter or narrowing it down to the one book that I will let myself take home with with me today.  I answer, “Just browsing.”  To my friend, I say, “Okay, when can I move in?”  He points to a couch near the children’s books and informs me that it comes furnished.

A dual-language Spanish novel from the 16th century?  Or how about a Spanish Bible?  I am familiar enough with parts of it to not need a side by side translation for learning purposes. Better use that book of Neruda in both English and Spanish and return it to the library first, I tell myself. How about an antiquarian Boy Scout book?  I don’t seem to be able to find any old veterinary texts, but there is an interesting old histology book wedged on a shelf between the biology books and the medical texts.

“Why am I thinking about taking home a Spanish-English dictionary when I have Google Translate in my pocket?” I wonder aloud.  My friend shrugs, “You like real books.”

After browsing to my heart’s content, I return to the stacks with books labeled “Literature” to pick up “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”.  I read the first few pages of it on my Nook the other day, a downloaded sample.  I choose an inexpensive used paperback version for to buy, leaving an older hardbound copy on the shelf.  If It call out to me again across a few days, I might go back for it.

 

 

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