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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Fifty novels, non-fiction books, and short-story anthologies

Even though this happened only a few weeks ago, I can't seem to recall exactly what drew me to check out the Stephen King section at one of the Borders I routinely hit up. Maybe it was because I had a coupon in my hand and I couldn't find anything that I really wanted to read in the music/movies/TV section? Maybe it was because I've seen positive reviews of King's latest, Under the Dome? Maybe because the ending of The Box stuck to me like the ending of The Mist did? I just can't remember exactly why, but those are all very valid reasons.

All I can say is, my dissatisfaction with the size of King's books in paperback led me to a secret goldmine found in almost any Half Price Books.

Yes, due to fact that most of King's books (save for the Dark Tower series) come in a size and shape meant to fit in your pocket, I have had no interest in reading a book that small. My eyesight is perfectly fine, but I don't like reading books that have no margins and are in small print. I like rest a book in my lap, not just in my small, skinny fingers.

But I've known for a few years that many of King's books in hardback make a stop to the bargain bin before they go back to the neverworld of returns. I picked up a copy of Cell a few years ago for $8, but I never picked up any more of his other books because I was frustrated with the book. (I have still not finished reading it.) That said, I've always appreciated his On Writing (which is something I highly recommend if you've ever wanted to write book), so I've always wanted to read some of his essential work. After reading Tasha's excellent primer on King, I wanted to at least start with Skeleton Crew.

Judging by the size of the selection of hardbacks at a couple of Half Price Books I visit, many of these former bargain bin specials wind up there. At the biggest Half Price Books in town, there is the equivalent of two bookcases devoted to King, and most are in hardback. Even in a smaller one I visit from time to time, there's plenty to look at, and most cost between five and eight dollars each.

So now I have small pile of King books to read (and hopefully finish by 2011): It, Skeleton Crew, The Tommyknockers, Misery, Skeleton Crew, and Needful Things (and Under the Dome shall arrive at my doorstep soon thanks to a great Cyber Monday deal). But rest assure, my next book will not be like King's books (in subject matter or average length).

1 comment:

Richard of DM said...

Stephen King books to avoid:

Insomnia

Hmm, I guess that's the only one. God, I hated that book and I was a huge King fan, read everything up until that one. Bought it when it came out, read it in two sittings and then threw it in the dumpster behind the Cadillac dealership where I was working security. Haven't read a King book since. However, I remember Misery, Tommyknockers, and The Dark Half very fondly.