May have mentioned once before that I started the UBC Nerdfighter club with my friend Josella back in second year. Used bookstore hopping was one of our most loved events that year, so we brought it back this semester! Check out the post I made about the first one if you wish.
This post isn’t very picture-heavy because… um… I forgot my camera. WOOPS. Thankfully, my friend over at Untitled in Contemplation graciously donated a few pictures. As you might notice skimming through these few images, the picture quality is much nicer than usual. That’s MA’s cameras for you. (As you can tell by my vocabulary, I am not a photography expert.) The Boy also donated a picture to the blog’s cause. Just a quick pic of hot chocolate–he only took pictures of the brunch–and I have to say, it’s a phone camera and still matches the regular picture quality here on the blog. Either they both have nice gadgets or I need a new camera.
Does saying “gadgets” make me sound old? The topic of aging has come up recently after seeing Tony Hawk ride that hoverboard–the one that isn’t a hoax–and realizing I will be well into or past middle-age before this sort of technology becomes normalized. OH GOD, THE FEELING OLD THING. IT’S HAPPENING ALREADY.
Just kidding! Sort of.
I’m not even twenty yet! (It’s true: I’m a winter baby and I’ve got one more week of technical teenagerdom!)
Anyway, back to our club’s bookstore hopping event. Turnout was about twice the size of last year, which was wonderful and still a bit surprising considering what a young club we are. We split up into groups for our pre-used bookstore hopping brunch, and my group went to the Chill Winston.
We were worried it might be a bit full on a Saturday morning, but as we walked up the steps, our feelings reversed: no one was there. Was it not open?
Luckily, it was. The place was just empty.
Our group was seated and we continued chatting as the waitress brought our menus.
… And this downright stranger. ✌
The one pic that belongs to the Boy.
Can’t get enough of Sophia’s amazing button down! Pretty and appropriate.
For those interested, it was decent food. Brunch should be around $13-16 before drinks and/or sides. After brunch, we convened with everyone else before splitting up again to different stops. So as not to overwhelm any of the often overstuffed used bookstores, our group headed to an antique store with cute, nick-nacky items.
The drawers were filled with old school toys. Think those animal-shaped sponges that came in capsules, and needed to be chucked in water for the “magic” to happen.
And the highlight of the trip…
A real broken doll, resting in a cradle. The price tag for this twisted piece of plastic was–I kid you not–$30. Why???
After that we headed over to The Paper Hound, a clean, small used bookstore stocked with tons of curious books. We browsed the philosophy section, the cheap erotica paperbacks, the Forbidden book cabinet (see my old post for pictures), and some of the new Vancouver/Canadian works on display at the little table in the back.
MA purchased a book on his hero, Hobbes. I mean, it’s not like as political science majors we haven’t read the Leviathan ten times over… hah. Interesting side story of the day: inside his copy is the signature of an old UBC prof who used to teach English in the 50s or 60s. We couldn’t find anything about him online, other than the fact that he was a part of several organizations, loved fishing, and taught English at UBC. Anyone know anything about a Mr. Read? Someone was clearly a fan of him, since they got him to sign their mid-20th century copy of the Leviathan.
That’s one of the joys of used bookstores, really. It’s not just cheap copies of old stories–sometimes valuable ones, at that–but the additional stories behind the books’ previous owners. There’s enticing mystery that can be found surrounding old books, if you’re lucky enough to happen upon something. Of course, the book itself might be more than enough of a find. At last year’s event, my friend NP found a first edition copy of On the Road at MacLeod’s. How amazing is that?
Nothing so special for me. I did, however, find an interesting little gem in the Mythologies and Theology section:
Little Sermons on Sin, by Alfonso Martínez de Toledo. I didn’t know anything about the book, but a quick skim was more than enough. The book is divided into two parts: the first, on the vice of sexual relations outside of wedlock (and even during wedlock, sex for any other reason than increasing the human population is frowned upon); the second, on the vice that is Woman. Yes, you read that right. And yes, reading it will give you a good giggle. I was tempted to buy it, but decided to save my money for something I wouldn’t laugh-cry at.
I’m going to be honest, it was pretty archaic for a mid-20th century book. And de Toledo? Bitter is probably the one word that comes to mind. The things you can find in used bookstores can be mind-blowing, in the most confusing and best ways possible.
On that weird note, I’m going to have to end this post. Like I said, I forgot my camera. Oh, the shame! And I couldn’t bring myself to continuously bug MA to take pictures for me.
Our group moved on to MacLeod’s last, perusing the filled-to-the-brim bookstore for a solid hour. What a joy!
Eventually, everyone attending the event regrouped at Cartem’s Donuterie, where we munched on donuts and chatted about this and that and everything in-between.
Until next time! And if you’re a nerdfighter at UBC: hope to see you at the next one!
PS: If you want a more in-depth journey through Gastown’s used bookstores, I highly suggest taking a peek at my old post from earlier this year. We went the same route, except this year my group substituted Albion’s Books with the antique shop.