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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My book shopping excursion

At lunch, I stopped into Borders to grab a bite (actually ordered a vanilla malt freeze) and ended up purchasing over $60 worth of books. Trust me, that wasn’t the original plan; I just thought maybe I’d buy Tananarive Due’s new novel, Joplin’s Ghost, and leave. But a bookstore to a bibliophile is like a pastry shop to a diabetic (and, unfortunately, on this issue I know of what I speak). You can determine that you will monitor your consumption, just get a nibble to taste, but you find that a nibble is never enough. So, one planned purchased turned into several:

As previously noted, Tananarive Due’s Joplin’s Ghost because I love her previous works, especially My Soul to Keep (presently in pre-production with Blair Underwood slated to play the lead) and The Living Blood. She is a fav of mine and one of the few black horror writers out there. I once attended a writer’s seminar in Dallas in which Ms. Due led a workshop on how to “Write Outside the Box,” urging us to reach beyond the limitations placed on black writers and follow our own creative flow. I hope I have taken Ms. Due’s advice regarding my own writing.

Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (the unfilmed original screenplay) simply because I have seen the movie numerous times but have never actually read the play. I am eager to know what parts didn’t make the screen.

Kaori Yuki’s Angel Sanctuary since I am trying to understand the manga craze and thought I should start somewhere. This cover piqued my interest and the book is the first in a series. Of course, if I like this one, I definitely will be purchasing the other books. I recently discovered from a message board that a few sistas are into manga big time, which actually surprised me. My previous excursion was nearly twenty years ago with the Robotech television (and book) series and I haven’t really kept up with what’s been happening.

Gary Braunbeck’s Keepers because he is a mentor of mine as well as an excellent writer. Told with beautiful, evocative prose, his works are examples of great storytelling. His horror is not stories of gore, but are rather tales of those fears that touch the human soul.

A Moleskin daily planner (advertised as “the legendary notebook of Hemingway, Picasso, and Chatwin; don’t know Chatwin) because my lawn guy keeps forgetting when and how much I paid him. This will prevent further confusion as I will definitely mark date and cash given and make him initial each entry. Keeps my blood pressure down.

During my shopping splurge, I initially could not find Ms. Due’s new novel. It should have been prominent among the new books under horror but was definitely missing in action. I later found copies in…you guessed it…the African-American section. I asked an employee who made the decisions regarding book placement; of course, he said the manager. I then pointed out how important a book’s sales are in the first few weeks and how this ghettoization of Ms. Due’s books made it difficult for true horror fans to find her, asking him to pass my complaint to the manager. The employee then showed me the category sticker placed on the back of the book and it clearly stated that it was for the Af-Am section; surprise: the call was made by the publisher. How can a publisher not decide to place the book in both sections? Luckily, upstairs in new fiction, I saw a few copies but note that the shelf time for new books is very limited as newer fiction comes in and replace the former.

Now, my next question: am I seeing things? While looking in the horror section, I was repeating “Due, Due” to myself as I unsuccessfully searched among the novels. A man standing nearby cleared his voice; the timbre was deep and husky. I looked up to see a man who looked very much like Walter Mosley; even had the signature hat. Before I could get a closer look, the shopper walked to the mystery section and disappeared among the aisles.

My first thought was ‘no, that couldn’t be him.’ Then I thought on it and paused, wondering should I give chase and confirm my suspicion. If I did, and he wasn’t Mr. Mosley, I would be embarrassed. If I did, and he was Mr. Mosley, I would become tongue-tied and, again, be embarrassed. So I did nothing. But at the register, I asked whether Mr. Mosley was in town, and the cashier next to mine piped in and said someone in the store had seen a man who looked very much like the best-selling author. So, was I seeing things? Guess I’ll never know.

Check out my purchases below (click pics):

Addendum: So I wasn't seeing things when I thought I spotted Walter Mosley at Borders. Just saw an online notice of book events for a local paper that said the author was in town today to do a signing at an Af-Am bookstore. He must have stopped in to find where Borders had placed his new book, Cinnamon Kiss. Oh well, a missed opportunity to chase him down and humiliate myself.

Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 10/04/2005 07:05:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


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