Searching for Tacitus

edward-gorey-cats-books-a50cb5178866eb4a8d584a8358452d49We were at a tiny bookstore in a small town.  I was crawling on the floor, searching for Tacitus.  The foreign language section has been dismantled and banished to two bottom shelves in the philosophy section.   I had to adopt a yoga pose with head lowered to read the titles.

A couple of years ago I saw an old battered Latin edition of Tacitus here.  It was overpriced and in barely acceptable condition.  I wanted to look at it again.

It is gone!

Darn!  Who would have bought it?

Oh well, I have another Tacitus at home.  True, I’ve already read it.  I COULD buy a nicer  (and cheaper) paperback copy online, except I cannot:   I have resolved this year to shop at bricks-and-mortar stores.

Shopping at indies will make me a better person.  Well, I’m already a good person.

Anyway, I am weeding books to find shelf room for books in boxes (including my London books).

Supporting the brick-and-mortar culture is part of my resolution to be more “present.”  The experience of browsing among physical books is electronically inimitable.  I miss it.

Although I hear that independent bookstores are having a comeback, I don’t see that here. As I’ve often explained, we have to travel 100 miles to find a good independent  bookstore.

Anyway, here is a list of the excellent brick-and-mortar indies and chains I visited last year.

IN LONDON (THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY!):  Skoob, London Review Bookshop, Oxfam, Foyles, Waterstones, and several used bookstores on Charing Cross Road.

IN IOWA CITY:  The Haunted Bookshop, Iowa Book, Prairie Lights

IN OMAHA, NE:  Jackson Street Booksellers, The Bookworm

IN OSKALOOSA, IA:  The Book Vault


IN DES MOINES, IA:  Barnes and Noble, Half Price Books

IN ANKENY, IA:  The Plot Twist

Very sadly, the last independent bookstore in Ames, Firehouse Books, closed last year.

I expect this to be a more leisurely year, with less shopping and more rereading.

Let me know your favorite brick-and-mortars.  I’ll support them if I’m there!