Quick stop

Yesterday, as we drove through the mountains in western Montana, we saw a sign advertising more than 100,000 used books at the Montana Valley Book Store.  You know us.  This is not something we could ignore.

It was in a tiny town, in the middle of the mountains (I don’t know which mountains), and the store was in this white house on the main road.

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The entire first floor had ceiling-high shelves, crammed full of books.  The picture I took only shows one side.

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The basement (slightly scary) ran the length of the house and had all the paperbacks in it.

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It was everything you could want in a used bookstore.  I really like the ones in old houses.  We didn’t stay long, but it helped us get through the rest of yesterday’s drive to Spokane.  It reinforced my growing desire to spend all of my free time in the library, if we ever actually get to Eugene.

(I bought a book, even though I’m not supposed to be buying books.  It’s a science fiction anthology edited by (and with commentary from) Isaac Asimov.  I felt the need to support the store.)

Not all of my dreams are realistic

Met a kindred spirit at Barnes & Noble today (an employee,  naturally – we bonded over dragons).  Made me remember how much I think I would enjoy owning a bookstore.  Still not financially feasible (probably almost certainly), and it certainly doesn’t fit in with our medium-term plans, but I don’t want to forget about it completely.

Current dream: find that perfect town/city we want to live in forever, with the perfect house we want to live in forever, and discover a bookstore that does just well enough to live off of, with owners looking to retire and pass it on to people who will love it as much as they do.  That’s possible, right?

Spent the rest of the day updating my What I’ve Been Reading list.  I was over a year behind.  I’ve made it to August!  More tomorrow, since I have the day off.  Tomorrow ought to include grocery shopping, too.  I can manage both of those.  And a long run.  I didn’t run yesterday because I was recovering from Friday night with Jess.  I didn’t run today because of a combination of laziness and snow.  No accumulation, but snow is wet.  I don’t want to run in the wet.  Excuses, I know.  I’ll be better tomorrow!

Trying comics. Again.

I’ve read The Dark Knight Returns, and I’ve read The Watchmen, and I didn’t really enjoy them.  I’m not saying they’re bad (because they’re not), but maybe I just don’t like reading comics.  Maybe I need more words.

I went to the comic book store with John after we had lunch together on Monday, and I bought TWO comics (or graphic novels – at what point do they become graphic novels instead of comics?).  The guy who works there was so enthusiastic when I asked for help.  I went looking for The New Deadwardians, but I didn’t find it, so I asked, and he put everything on hold (he was ringing up John) to go search for me.  Checked two shelves, no dice, so back to his computer and to a third shelf.  Well, after all that, I HAD to buy it.  (Also, I went looking for it because I think Jess suggested it, and as we all know, I do whatever Jess tells me to do.)  I bought something else the guy suggested, too, but I can’t remember what it is right now, and I can’t muster the energy to get up and look.  Something about being similar to Ocean’s Eleven but stealing a ghost instead of money.

Speaking of doing whatever others tell me to, Mindy thinks I should stop using shampoo.  I’m sure it’s not just me – she probably think everyone should stop using shampoo.  I’m going to see if the organic shampoo I have has those chemicals all the websites say are so awful.  And in the meantime, I’ll THINK about going the baking soda route.  Really.  (I’m spending entirely too much time thinking about my hair.)

If you can’t tell if someone is taking something, is it really stealing?

It’s already sad that Borders is going out of business, but who would have guessed they’d be funny about it?

John pointed it out to me the last time we were there, clearing out the science fiction section.  (Well, that part was only me – I’m why you can’t find any of the books you’ve been looking for.  Sorry.)  But really, it’s great that invisibility cloaks are 20% off, but what’s to stop you from just grabbing one and running?  Other than the obvious.

Lunges make your butt sore

Mine, anyway.  Thought you should know.  I did some lunges after my run yesterday morning, not even that many, and today I can hardly sit.  It’s the act of sitting (and then standing up again) that kills.  And forget stairs.  I’m crawling up them.

After buying a bunch of books at Borders on Saturday, we felt we needed more, so we went to the used bookstore in Reston this afternoon.  I like that store, and we always find books we want, but every time we go I feel like I’m missing something, like I didn’t look everywhere I could for a particular book.  I think it’s because the shelves go so high I can’t read the titles on the topmost rows.  The book I’ve been looking for, THE BOOK (there are about 12 of those at any given time), could be up there, and I’d never know.  Tragic.

Scouting expedition

The other day (which must have been yesterday, but feels like weeks ago already), John found a for-sale listing for retail space with an apartment above it just off Thames Street, and he took me by it on the way to work.  This morning, we decided to drop in to the real estate agency just to find out how much it’s going for.  We still want to own a used bookstore, and one way to keep costs down would be to own the building and live above the store, so it seems worthwhile to look into it.  We met an agent who understood what we were trying to do.  She didn’t try to push the expensive places on us or anything, and she wasn’t really pushing us to buy at all.  All we wanted to do was get an idea of space and see what’s available, what we might be able to afford, and if we might be happy living in an apartment again.  The short answer to that last one is probably not, not with dogs and not if we have any plans to add future family members.  But the experiment was successful.  We saw two places, both on the same street.  One had a smaller retail space (though nice), no yard at all, but two floors of living space above and a roof deck.  The apartment would need a lot of work to be nice, but it’s doable.  The second place was better.  There was more retail space, more interesting retail space (corners and turns, alcoves, a fireplace, etc), a little studio apartment behind the retail space with a back entrance that can connect to the upstairs apartment, a fenced in yard/patio (small, but cute), and upstairs was really nice.  Cathedral ceiling in the front room, with space for a table and a living area, a bay window, a (small) fireplace in the middle of the room, open on two sides, a breakfast area, a counter high enough for bar stools, and a completely redone kitchen (very nice), all new counters, cabinets (some with glass doors), appliances, etc.  The bedroom was fine, and the bathroom had a big whirlpool tub and two sinks.  There was another half-bath that was nice, too.  In short, it was a TOTALLY VERY AWESOME COOL building, and if John and I didn’t have two dogs and if we weren’t thinking about kids someday, we would reallyreallyreallyreally want this place.

But we do have dogs, and we do want kids, so I think we’ll rethink the whole living above a store thing and start looking at normal houses and renting retail space.  It’s not like this is going to happen immediately or anything.  John needs to finish his masters, we need jobs wherever it is we’d be going (or at least John would need a job), and we’ll need to figure out how we can sell our house without losing our shirts.  And, you know, our money.  🙂