Off Topic Thursday: Book buys and library picks!

One of my used book picks: the beautiful 1986 hardcover edition of The Handmaid’s Tale (Image via

I recently discovered a great used bookstore called Ukazoo that does buybacks and also stocks a pretty impressive selection of books, from biographies to fiction to textbooks to children’s literature. Since I’m running out of room on my shelves, I gathered about 40 books that I knew I’d never read again and headed to the store to sell them. But of course, I didn’t walk out empty handed…. I had to pick up a few books that I’m willing to make room for! Counterproductive, I know, but four books is a pretty good tradeoff for getting rid of 40.

The first thing I did was search for books I’ll need for the fall semester, which led me to The Stories of John Cheever, which is required for my upcoming English class. I’ve never read Cheever before and haven’t yet looked inside the book, but I’m excited for the class, so hopefully I’ll get some enjoyment out of it. The edition I picked up for only $5.99 is a 1978 hardcover – a great addition to my shelf even if the book wasn’t required for class! (It also smells really good. Is it weird that “old book” is one of my favorite smells?)

Not having any luck with the rest of my college books, I decided to check for a few old favorites that I don’t yet own in my personal library. I was very excited to find a 1991 (The year I was born!) edition of Margaret Atwood’s The Lottery and Other Stories in paperback as well as a 1986 hardcover of The Handmaid’s Tale, which are both in perfect condition! Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite writers, so I’m very excited to finally have these well-known works of hers in my collection.

My final purchase was stumbled upon by accident – a 1976 Bantam Books pocket paperback of Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine. I love Ray Bradbury. LOOOOOOVE him. And I couldn’t pass up this edition, with a beautifully illustrated cover and in the perfect size for carrying when I’m in need of a leisure reading break during the semester.

Another bonus: the original owner’s name is written inside the front cover of the book! One of the things I love about buying used books is the thought that these exact copies have been read (and hopefully enjoyed) by others for decades before I found the copy. It’s interesting to ponder the book’s history – how many hands it has passed through, what previous owners/readers may have thought of the book. And again, they smell really good.

(Image via

As excited as I am to re-read Atwood and Bradbury, I was craving some new-to-me reading material, so I also stopped at the library after hitting up Ukazoo.

The first section I stopped into was the music DVDs, which distracted me from my original purpose in visiting the library. I picked up Bobby Darin: Beyond the Song, Frank Sinatra: The Magic of Music and Life Could Be a Dream: The Doo-Wop Sound. Even though these aren’t classic films, I’m sure you’ll see reviews of them here, because they’re still relevant to the time period in which many of the films I review were created (and because I’m very excited to watch them).

Heading over to the fiction, I grabbed The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (recommended by ChapterStackss on YouTube – I highly recommend her channel!), Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler and Dolores by Jacqueline Susann.

I’m currently reading Dolores, which I decided to pick up after enjoying Susann’s Valley of the Dolls during TMP’s Adaptation Month. The Book of Lies and Dark Places remain on the “to be read” pile, but I have finished Fixing Delilah, giving it a 4/5 rating on GoodReads. I’d read one book by Ockler before (received as a birthday gift from a librarian friend) and had enjoyed it. Fixing Delilah was a quick and easy read, packing a decent emotional punch and thoroughly holding my interest (though in many ways it is a typical YA troubled-girl-meets-boy romance).

What are you currently reading? Got any book recommendations for me? Leave ’em in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Off Topic Thursday: Book buys and library picks!

    1. I also read it when I was younger and absolutely adored it. I haven’t re-read it in years though, so I’m excited! I’ll probably write up a short review of it (along with some of the other books I picked up) for a future OTT.


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