Thrift Store Finds: Paradox Bookstore Finds!

Sorry for the interruption in blogging, folks. I spent the last few days in with my family at the Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia. I’ve never spent any time in West Virginia so it was a fun new experience for me. The resort was beautiful, the cottage we rented was spacious and fun, and the days were full of fun activities for my immediate and extended family. We did a lot of swimming, mini-golfing, hiking, and (as with any visit to a new place) used book store trolling! Wheeling is home to the oldest used book store in West Virginia, The Paradox Bookstore. As soon as I read about it, I knew it would be a must-visit.

When we arrived, I knew I had found a great store when I saw this notice posted prominently outside the establishment:

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THAT’S my kind of store!

The aisled were jam-packed with books to the point of toppling; when my wife Ellen knocked over a stack of mysteries, the clerk joked he’d like to send his St. Bernard for a rescue, but the dog had the day off. We carefully navigated the rest of the store and I found quite a few books to take home.

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Danny Dunn and the Smallifying Machine by Jay Williams and Raymond Abrashkin

I’ve been looking for some Danny Dunn books for quite awhile. The series has become somewhat forgotten in recent years but I always liked them. Danny Dunn is a teenage protagonist very much in the vein of Tom Swift or The Hardy Boys. Danny gets involved in adventures thanks to their friendship with Professor Bullfinch, an absent-minded scientist whose speciality involve space-age inventions like anti-gravity paint, weather machines, and automatic houses.

The tone of these books owed quite a bit to the go-go “world of tomorrow” future that seemed to be just around the corner in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I imagine Danny Dunn would be fairly disappointed to find we don’t travel to work on rocket-fueled jet packs in 2013.

I should mention that although this book is marked as being the first in the series, it’s actually the eleventh!

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For Better or For Worse: Another Day, Another Lecture by Lynn Johnston

I’m a fairly big fan of FBoFW and I wrote about that at length in this post. I’ve never seen smaller paperback collections of the comic so I had to pick this one up. This paperback was published by TOR in 1991, but it collects strips from VERY early in the series’ history. Elizabeth Patterson is only a baby in most of these strips.

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Logan’s Run by William F. Norton and George Clayton Johnson

Although this looks like a novelization of the 1976 film starring Michael York and Jenny Agutter (YOWZA!), it is in fact, a repurposing of the original novel by Norton and Johnson to capitalize on the movie. This paperback is in pristine condition and includes 16 pages of stills from the movie including close-up shots of Box, the stupidest looking robot Hollywood ever tried to pass off as a legitimate cinematic threat. Truth be told, Logan’s Run the movie is a pretty goofy outing, nipping at the heels of Planet of the Apes in presenting a weird post-apocalyptic future… but I’ve always liked it.

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The Coachman Rat by David Henry Wilson

Hoo-boy. I’ve been looking for a copy of The Coachman Rat for a looooong time. Published in 1989, the book offers a serious, uniquely skewed view of the Cinderella fairy tale. The story is related from the perspective of one of the rats, transformed into a coachman for Cinderella’s night of magic… and then transformed back into a rat after midnight, but retaining the ability to speak and think as a human. The traditional fairy tale is given a realistic approach by Wilson and ends rather tragically both for our protagonist and all involved. My father read me this story when I was a little too young for it and I bawled horribly at the unrelentingly sad ending. So sad was this book that I’m unsure I’m ready to reread it!

I found a BUNCH of other books, but I believe I’ll save them for future posts…

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