The Open Books store opens this Saturday in Chicago! If you don't know already, I am a marketing intern at this fabulous literacy organization. It's great, but it's definitely different than the corporate world :-) For example, we have to move all our own furniture, which would be a big no-no at either of my old jobs. But, on a positive note, I am no longer doing accounting and am working towards my career goal of getting into marketing for non-profits. So, a very good experience!
Anyway, as the store is opening so soon, all of us are spending a great deal of time downstairs shelving books. There are some authors whom I always scan bookshelves in libraries and bookstores for. It usually disappoints me not to see anything by those authors, but if I do- then I feel really, really happy and the bookstore or library goes up significantly in my estimation. One of those authors is Lindsay Davis, though I don't know why as I think I own all Davis' books. Another is Teresa Edgerton, who writes very hard-to-find fantasy novels. Another is Guy Gavriel Kay, who also writes fantasy novels, my favorite being The Lions of Al-Rassan.
But the one I most look for is Georgette Heyer, the queen of Regency England. Yes, she writes romance novels, but not the trashy kind. She's so witty. I adore her. Any bookstore that sells her books has the Aarti seal of approval.
The Open Books store, therefore, has my stamp of approval. Not only does it carry Heyer, but it has her books in hardcover! Sadly, the most often-found Heyer hardcovers are Lady of Quality, Regency Buck and Charity Girl. These are not on my list of favorite Heyers at all. Regency Buck, in particular, I strongly dislike. Both the hero and the heroine appall me. Appall! I can see why those are the books most often found on used bookstore shelves as, if I had to purge my book collection and somehow needed to decrease my 50+ volume Heyer collection, I'd get rid of those.
Anyway, Open Books has Charity Girl and Lady of Quality. BUT ALSO, it has (or had, before I purchased it for myself) a copy of Penhallow! Penhallow is one of Heyer's mystery novels, and not one of the popular ones. It's hard to find in paperback, and even harder to find in hardcover. I've been looking around for it in used bookstores for years. And I found it at Open Books!
The copy I found is an old edition, by Doubleday :-) I can't even find a picture online to show you, but it has a big, dark blue cover with an English stately home on it. It was clearly published during World War II because the back cover has this big announcement about how buying the book helps literacy and thus helps the world. And the book's back cover also encourages you to BUY WAR BONDS in big, block capital letters. So fabulous! I love a book with a sense of history. I can't even describe how thrilled I was to find this book for myself. And I didn't feel bad about purchasing it as all proceeds from the sale go towards fighting illiteracy in my beloved Chicago. If that's not a win-win situation, I don't know what is.
If you're in the Chicago area, come check out Open Books' Grand Opening this weekend!
Which authors do you automatically look for on shelves? Any? And do you have a story of a rare find that made you very happy, either in a bookstore or library?