Thursday, July 12, 2007

A good afternoon

Today at work we had a deadline to turn in some paperwork that could mean more money for our department. I've had worse work weeks in my life--MUCH worse, BELIEVE me--but this was challenging and stressful because I've been there less than two months and didn't have a lot of background for the project.

Anyway, when we turned it in, my boss announced that she was going home and told me I could leave whenever I chose. So, naturally, I caught the first express bus of the afternoon back to the park & ride, which gave me an extra hour before I had to pick up my daughter from daycare. And I realized it'd been quite some time since I'd been to a used bookstore. If you're reading this reasonably close to the time I posted it, you can see my haul on your left. Among other things, four traditional Regencies, which I've been stockpiling of late--I find them more satisfying than most romances currently being published. It's a broad generalization and there are exceptions in both directions, but the old trads are often more historically accurate, less over-the-top in plot, and richer in characterization and romantic chemistry from not being able to rely on sex early and sex often to carry the love story.

I also found a research book that should be at least tangentially useful for my current project--it's on the American Revolution, focusing on the Continental Army, but military technology didn't change much between then and the Napoleonic Era (the next big leap in killing power came a few decades later, just in time for the Civil War), and the book has illustrations like a step-by-step diagram of loading a musket, all the better to help me describe it.

As an aspiring author, I try to support my fellow writers by buying books new so they'll reap the benefits of the sale, limiting my UBS purchases to out-of-print books (as I did today). But there's something about going to a UBS that just can't be replicated shopping at Barnes & Noble or ordering from Amazon. Not that I don't do both. A lot. But in a UBS there's the thrill of discovering the unexpected, the rare. It's a treasure hunt.

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