Archive Bookstore, NW1. A couple of turns away from Edgware road lies this joy. Very rare titles at reasonable prices going back to the 18th century. Downstairs is devoted to sheet music and you’d be hard pressed to find a better selection! http://www.archivebookstore.co.uk/
Happy birthday, E.B. White!
Born on this day in 1899, Elwyn Brooks White grew up to be the famed author of Charlotte’s Web, a timeless story of love and loyalty between a spider named Charlotte and her friend Wilbur, the runt pig.
In researching spider characteristics, White relied heavily on Willis J. Gertsch, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History, in what was then the Museum’s Department of Insects and Spiders. The results are readily apparent in certain details—Charlotte is sedentary, near-sighted, stuns her prey, works at night—all based on scientific facts about many spider species. White even acknowledged the curator’s help in naming his title character!
Learn more on the Museum blog.
❀ COLLECTING CLASSICS: A GUIDE TO BUYING USED BOOKS ❀
- Great literature is easily found at thrift stores and often in excellent condition (often because the fool who donated it didn’t read a word of it, the horror!) Over half of my classics novels were bought for $1 or less. Thrifting for books isn’t brain surgery, but if you aren’t sure where to start this master post might be of help.
- Where to go? Everywhere and anywhere. I don’t have standalone used bookstores in my area so I go to Goodwill, local charity shops, and consignments stores that offer more than just books. When the store’s focus isn’t solely on books you have a better chance at getting a really good deal.
- Have a list handy. Especially if you aren’t familiar with classic authors (a quick search online can remedy that) but I find running through titles and authors in my mind before I start scanning the shelves to be the most helpful. Thrifiting is also great for stumbling across new titles, so expect the unexpected.
- If it looks good don’t hesitate to grab it. Thifting is a game of finders keepers. You can always weed through your stack before purchasing; better have the option to return a book to the shelf than watch someone else walk away with it.
- Stand. Your. Ground. I’m a nice girl and I’ll move if I feel like someone is encroaching on my personal space but that can mean losing out on a sweet find so don’t be a pushover! (I’m still working on this one.)
- Learn from your mistakes. I once missed out on about a dozen Calvin and Hobbes comic books because I let some dude walk right in front of me with a cart and preceded to load them up. Don’t let this happen because Calvin and Hobbes deserve better.
- Passing the test. Buying a book depends entirely on your comfort level with its condition. I personally don’t mind a little wear around the edges of my used books, (they are after all used!) but a little examination doesn’t hurt. Check that the binding is strong and, if you’re like me, that the book is free of writing in the margins, highlighting, or my least favorite underlining.
- Coughing up the cash. I spend anywhere from 25 cents to $3.00 on the used paperbacks and hardcovers that I thrift. More often than not expect to spend $1.00 a title.
- Always be on the hunt. Most shops receive new donations daily so it’s not a matter of picking the right day. It’s an unpredictable game so the best rule is not to have any. Some days you find zip and others you wake up in the morning with a prickly feeling that you’ll get lucky and come home with fifteen books for your collection. Both of those scenarios I’ve experienced recently so the best advice I can offer is this: be open to the possibilities!
the saddest part of The Fault In Our Stars was definitely when Augustus fell into the chocolate river and got sucked up into the tube thing