Green Apple books literary moshpit

Thanks to Mark Pritchard I was at the huge blowout used book sale at Green Apple Books on Clement and 5th! And it’ll go on for months, with new books brought up from the warehouse every week.

We were all elbow to elbow with our necks sideways, concentrating, muttering, calculating prices. The crowd was intense and intent, biting their lips with concentration. At one point I lunged halfway across the room with my hand stuck out and nabbed an old hardback copy of The Country of the Pointed Firs; I think I whimpered with happiness at my luck and then realized that about 10 people were giggling and beaming approval. After about an hour & a giant armload of books & a stiff neck, at the checkout I had only spent 50 bucks.

What did I get at Green Apple? I’ll tell you exactly so that you can see the range of books and how cheap they were.

The Collected Greed, parts 1-13, Diane Wakoski
The Forging of a Rebel by Arturo Barea. Volumes 1-3 of the autobiography of a guy in the Spanish Civil War
The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett – Incredibly nice hardback edition with clear plastic cover – one of my favorite books ever.
The 100 Greatest Marvels of All Time , #25. Comic book paperback.
Soujorn: The Dragon’s Tale (comic book paperback)
Finder: Talisman by Carla Speed Macneil (graphic novel)
She-Hulk: Single Green Female
Gerard of Wales – a Penguin Classic of some guy’s travel journal from the 1100s
Juniper – Monica Furlong. A rather strange young adult novel about the initiation rites of some young witches in a vague almost-Celtic fantasy world. Unlike many books in that genre, it passes the Bechdel test handily.
Stonewall – Martin Duberman
Through the Flower – Judy Chicago. In which she explains her feminist consciousness raising processes and collaboration and community building among women artists. This looks fantastic!
Women of the Left Bank – I just watched this movie and am very happy to have the hardback book now! (Plus, you know it’s a good book when “perversion” and “marginality” have lengthy entries in the index.)
The Sappho Companion – borrowed and shamefully kept for over a year; now I can return it to the owner without bursting into tears

Getting all that for 50 dollars was like some kind of library booksale wet dream, or the estate sale of an eccentric professor whose surviving relatives consider books to be useful doorstops.

It’s pouring rain. I’m at Toy Boat cafe right down the street at Clement and 5th, sipping hot cider and gloating over my haul. Toy Boat is a small unpretentious cafe with nice food and good coffee & smoothies. It’s jam packed with action figures, godzilla toys, Spice Girls dolls. There’s a 25 cent horse ride, the kind that I grew up riding outside supermarkets in the 1970s. There’s no wireless, so if you go there to look over your books, you’ll have to wait to enter them into LibraryThing.

Later on I went to the Korean restaurant across from Toy Boat. It says “Soft Tofu” in the window, but I can’t remember its name. The Soft Tofu soup with different mushrooms was delicious, spicy, boiling hot in a heavy stone bowl. As often happens when I order something vegetarian in Korean restaurants, I got a free extra dish. I am never sure if that’s because they think I might need more sustanance if I’m not eating beef, or because they think vegetarians are extra nice people. The extra dish was corn on a piping hot plate and maybe some sauce and cheese stuff on top, broiled lightly, and it was also delicious. Give that place a try if you’re in the neighborhood, especially on a rainy day!

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1 Comment so far

  1. SEAN (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 1:19 pm

    Score. And you are definitely braver than me. I was there at about noon, and moshpit indeed! After 10 minutes, I couldn’t take it and had to bail. Since I had daydreams of, like you, exiting with a stack full of books, I was seriously bummed. [sigh] And I applaud your restaurant choice as well. (Can’t go wrong in that neighborhood at all foodwise.)

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