Sunday, August 13, 2017

Random notes

While visiting my sister in St Petersburg, I found Wilson's Book World on 9th Street (now MLK Blvd) and 24th, a store I'd heard much about. Inside, treasure wall to wall. Beside the usual rows of popular grocery store novels, there is one of the best collections of literary criticism and writing I have encountered outside a major library. After a half hour of soaking up the antique shop atmosphere and reading book spines on the well-organized shelves, I found three. A rare find, its top covered in bookshelf dust, Stuart Gilbert's Letters of James Joyce, published before the Ellman biography and one of its major sources. A paperback of Ivan Turgenev's Fathers and Sons. I remember Hemingway commenting somewhere that he learned about writing from reading Turgenev, though I think he was referring to the short story collection A Sportman's Sketches. And on a display of new acquisitions, Will In The World, the wonderful (nearly)new biography of Shakespeare by scholar and professor Stephen Greenblatt. At checkout, I talked about used book stores like Kendall Book Exchange with Wilson's owner Jeff Morris (His mother Helen Wilson started the store). My total price was twenty-five dollars but I only had a twenty, a not-unusual circumstance. So Jeff charged me for the Joyce Letters and Will/World and gave me the Turganev, an offer I could not refuse. Twenty dollars well spent. If you go to Tampa Bay and the Gulf Beaches, take a ride to Wilson's and relax and enjoy.

See the store here:  (Click the highlighted words to see the hyperlinks)