Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bookstore Heavens

(Ridley the cat, haunter of Borderland bookstore, pic taken from their site)

Still posting in the land across the big water. In this case, I'm lucky half the time to access free WiFi. Sometimes I can get through the network like in most Barnes & Nobles bookstores. Sometimes, I can't like in San Francisco Airport where you have to purchase a T-Mobile card in order to get online.

(Yes, I've been lugging around my HP Mini netbook-- the one I'm using in replacement of the laptop that got stolen. It' ain't heavy, it's my only lifeline.)

In any case, I was finally able to check out the legendary Borderlands Bookstore in San Francisco, that famous purveyor of all things science-fiction, fantasy and horror bookshop on Valencia Street. Yes, that shop had a lot of books I only dreamt about in Amazon color-- but alas, finances were not up to par and I was only able to leave the place with one book.

Still, I saw such wonders that have never been seen on Philippine shores (unless you're an international reviewer like Charles Tan): books by writers Ekaterina Sedia and Zoran Zivkovic as well those published by Ash Tree and Underland Press. I even saw a copy of Danel Olson's Exotic Gothic 2, which has Dean Alfar's story (though buying that book would meant I'd have to walk from Valencia to Union Square for my pickup ride).

Plus, they have a cool-looking cat named Ridley. What's not to like about a book cat who looks like a gargoyle but chases rubber balls?

So is this bookstore heaven? It's not "nakakalula" (overwhelming) if that's what you think. Not even Green Apple bookstore in nearby (in the sense that it's in the same city) Clement Street and their extensive shelves of used and new SF, horror and fantasy books gave me that feeling.

I suppose the one bookstore that did give me that feeling is a small shop in Paris that sold American books. The shop, which was just across a garden, had a name I never remembered. But the feeling has stayed with me ever since, of an indrawn breath at the sight of so many shelves of so many books that will forevermore never be recovered.

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