Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Books! or: How I Spent My Lunch Break

Two Dollar Rare Book Store

I only recently learned that on the days I work the later shift (12:30-8), I get a 45 minute lunch break. (On the days that I work 9:30-5:30, I get a half hour). Today, I took advantage of this and went over to the best used bookstore in the greater Cleveland area, the Two Dollar Rare Book Store.

This establishement, located at East 69th and Euclid, near the Dunham Tavern, seems unassuming at best. Inside, however, is located the most incredible selection of books, including some that people might even actually want to buy. There's a lot of junk, for sure, but there's also a lot of great stuff, usually in condition that other bookstores, even antiquarian ones, wouldn't be caught dead with. I recall once seeing first editions of all five volumes of Jowett's translation of Plato's works, at $2 a volume. They were lacking their covers, and I felt it was better to let some other idiot purchase them.

Today, I purchased five books or book-shaped objects, for a grand total of $3.

Two are books on Shaker Heights history, published by the Shaker Heights Landmark Commission: The Van Sweringen Influence: Shaker Heights (3rd edition, 1983, 56 pages) and Shaker Heights Fences: a guide to fence styles and regulations for residential architecture (1984, 15 pages). Both are interesting titles. I don't know how much use I have for Shaker Heights Fences but it's a welcome addition to my Shaker Heights bibliography. There are many more copies of both of these titles in the store.

I also purchased First Aid for the Ailing House by Roger B. Whitman (3rd edition, 1942). It includes a considerable wealth of information about the repair of houses like my own.

Finally, I obtained the April and October 2007 issues of Traditional Building magazine. I'd heard of this publication, for building professionals, but I hadn't been able to find it at a local library and I couldn't justify the cost of a subscription. It seems worthwhile for the advertisments alone - I don't know where else I'd find such a comprehensive list of suppliers of so many of these materials.

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