Going Broke, One Used Book at a Time

I’ve got a problem, and it’s the used book store down the street.

On my way back from classes or work, I like to stop by the Dunkin’ Donuts down the street to get a pick-me-up coffee before I face the long night of reading and studying ahead. However, after purchasing my medium hot regular (and cringing as the man behind me orders a large French Vanilla with five Splendas–seriously?), I face a daunting task: walking the three minutes to my apartment without getting sucked into the used book store halfway between the two. I swear, it’s like they’ve got a bunch of dusty, slightly yellowed and dog-eared Sirens calling my name from just inside the door.

Alas, I’ve no beeswax to plug my ears with, so more often than not, I end up there for hours at a time. I once had to text my roommate to have her come rescue me. I’m no expert on time travel, but I’m convinced that by stepping through the door, I’m also stepping through some vortex that makes the hours go all wibbly-wobbly.

The real problem comes when I’ve finally convinced myself I really need to go and do homework, like, an hour and a half ago: checkout. After resigning myself to the fact that I’m not making it out of there empty-handed (and that, once again, I should have purchased the large coffee because mine is long since gone), I lose all restraint and end up with a precariously balanced stack of books. Fortunately, the wonder of used book stores is that they are cheap. “It’s only $10,” I tell myself. Unfortunately, I know I’ll be back within a day or two, when I’ll only spend $5 (lies). It’s starting to add up, but I can’t stop myself. I can’t read them as fast as I buy them, but still I keep going.

My most recent purchases include:

  • The Portable Oscar Wilde
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka
  • Waiting for the Barbarians by JM Coetzee
  • The Geographer’s Library by Jon Fasman
Grand total: something under $15, so I didn’t feel (that) bad shoving the receipt in my wallet right next to the one from the previous day.

What are your latest book store conquests? What’s the best deal you’ve found so far?