Travel Literature

I figured I would need a book to read on the road the next weeks, especially on monday’s 11 hour long bus trip to Sydney, so yesterday I went to one of the used bookshops in Camberwell to see if I could find a good one.

Browsing through dusty old bookshops, with nothing in particular on my mind is pretty enjoyable, just looking through shelves with hundreds of books I’ve never heard of. Sometimes there might be a special book I look for, but mostly I just browse randomly, looking for interesting titles or books from authors I’ve heard or read about somewhere.

There are plenty of these old bookshops around here, and I’ve found many good books over the last year. Since the books are used, they are often cheaper than in the regular stores; a well-kept paperback costs about $ 10, but the main reason to go there is not to save money – I just enjoy the randomness of it I guess, never knowing what is to be found on the next shelf. And just as people like the smell of a new CD or a new car, I’ve grown quite fond of the smell of moldy old books.

Anyway, my catch for the day was: Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (full text here), which I’ve wanted to read for a long time, and the Penguin classic of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an old english adventure/romance from the 14th century, as well as a couple of classic old Peanuts and MAD Magazine comics from the 1960’s. Much more than I’ll read on the trip, so I’ll only bring the Pirsig book along I think. Really looking forward to reading it!