Used book shop

This evening I found myself outside one of my favorite used book shops. I love this place because I always find something completely different from anything I had ever thought I’d find. Some shops are magical like that.

This evening I walked in, feeling hopeful, but alas could find nothing of interest in any of the sections I usually frequent. I was on my way out when a display near the door caught my eye. There I saw an entire row of old science fiction magazines — a mix of Astounding Science Fiction and Fantasy and Science Fiction — from the mid 1940s through the early 1950s. Each issue had been carefully tucked into a clear plastic sleeve, and every one of them called out to my inner child.

They were all from well before I was born, and I realized I was looking at someone else’s childhood, at the poignant remains of somebody’s story of long ago innocence. That mystery just made them more compelling. I vowed to buy one, but which one? The cover art on each was delightful, in the Hugo Gernsback way that was so popular back then.

Then it dawned on me: One thing about being a grown-up is that you can do things you would never think to do as a child. Sometimes you actually get a chance to indulge a combination of childhood dreams and grown-up wherewithal. This was one of those times.

I bought them all.

One Response to “Used book shop”

  1. J. Peterson says:

    I’m sure whomever sold them to the bookshop is delighted the collection is still intact.

    Arthur Clarke wrote wistfully about that era of Sci Fi, noting it was the last time fans could read the genre’s entire output as soon as it was published.

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