Another year, another Friends of the San Francisco Public Library booksale. This year was different though. I received a VIP pass, so I was invited to go for the member day, when it was closed to the riff raff (me, every other day). I went around five, and everything was still so clean and pristine. People were everywhere, books piled high, similar editions grouped into large stacks, and so many clean almost brand-new editions.
Starting last year I began keeping track of all the books I’ve bought. Every year I think I’ve curbed my book buying, but each year I realize I’ve bought around the same amount.
It’s an addiction that I’ve learned to live with. I avoid book browsing for months at a time but once I walk into a bookshop, I take a deep breath and smell the fresh books. It’s both welcoming and comforting.
Amara Lakhous‘ Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio takes its title from a movie that one of the characters, Johan Van Marten, wants to make about tenants living in the same building, what the elevator represents to them, and how they interact with one another as a result of the shared space. A long-time tenant is found dead in the elevator. One man, Amedeo, is accused of the crime, but none of the tenants believe he is the murderer, so they each give their suspicions, opinions, and prejudices.
Chuck Palahniuk was in San Francisco again. This time he was signing comics at Comix Experience. This was probably my seventh time seeing him. He’s one of my favorite writers (but also one of my favorite readers. However, since this wasn’t a book tour, he didn’t read.) Thanks to our friend Dom alerting us to the event, Gib and I were one of the first 40 people to get our comics signed. My friend Jenifer brought Frankie the dog along as well.