The Joys of Booksale-Raiding

With the closure of the Borders nearest to me, my local library remains as my only source of physical books. So whenever it has one of its three annual book sales, I hightail it over to peruse the cheap and used merchandise. In the past I’ve picked up some gems like George MacDonald’s Lilith, Lord Dunsany’s Charwoman’s Daughter, and even a complete old hardback version of T.H. White’s Once and Future King in great condition. The library charges a dollar an inch, and today I bought four books for a clean $5. They are:

Merlin by Stephen Lawhead, the sequel to Taliesin, which I reviewed back in February.

Myst: The Book of Atrus by Rand and Robyn Miller. It’s based on the classic computer game series, which I have not had the good fortune to play. I was surprised to hear of a novelization some years back, and that it is supposedly very good, so when I saw a beautiful good-as-new hardback of it, I snatched it up.

The Tolkien Reader from Ballantine Fantasy, which has a few stories of the Professor I don’t already own (shocking!): Tree and Leaf, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, and The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, Beorhthelm’s Son. It also has an introduction by Peter Beagle (The Last Unicorn) called “Tolkien’s Magic Ring.” Can’t wait to dig into it!

Stories By O. Henry. I’m pretty sure the only O. Henry I’ve read is the famous “Gift of the Magi,” which I loved. One dollar seems a steal for a collection of short stories by a celebrated author who has already proved adept at beautifully happy endings.

Unless Henry wrote some fantasy stories, he won’t be appearing on my blog. The other books definitely will, though, as soon as I finish reading them!


  1. Hi David,
    I’m sure you’ll let us know what you think of all these. I somehow missed your review of “Taliesin”–the Lawhead books are among my favorite Arthurian retellings. I’m busy reading several more Arthurian novels myself I’ll be reviewing in the next couple of months.
    Used books are the best.

    1. David says:

      Glad to hear that, Tyler. I liked Taliesin and Lawhead’s take on the legend, although some of the melodrama got tiring and I found his version of Morgian boring and two-dimensional (if that!). I’m eager to read more of Lawhead’s stuff.
      Keep reading and reviewing! There are so many Arthurian books out there, I can’t read them all by myself. I am, however, making good progress through your own book. I expect to finish it, and maybe the review, sometime this month.

  2. Doni says:

    Yay! My sister and I braved the heat to check out some local garage sales today, and stumbled upon the library book sale. I found three of Mary Stewart’s Arthurian novels in spiffy, like new hardcovers. And my sister found a cute little hardcover of The Reluctant Dragon, with illustrations by E.H. Shepherd.

    I’m sorry to hear your local Borders closed! I was afraid that might be the fate of ours, but it is still open. I will try to support it as I can!

    1. David says:

      Huzzah for buying books cheap! I still haven’t read Stewart’s Merlin/Arthur quartet, but I’ve had it for about 2 1/2 years. If you end up reading them first, let me know what you think, ‘kay?

  3. Amyclae says:

    I have this same joy.

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