Used books

While I was visiting Fort Worth, Texas, recently, I walked into a used bookstore on North 8th Street—the kind of place where you can fall into a time warp, forgetting where you are until you hear the owner locking up for the day. For the first hour I browsed the shelves on my own, collecting a small stack of books with such delectable titles as What Every Catholic Needs to Know About Fundamentalism and Christianity as Mystical Fact. I even found a hardback copy of the complete works of Spinoza that cost $9.50, or about $1.90 a pound.

After I sneezed, the shopkeeper’s voice floated across the stacks. “I forgot you were there,” she said. “May I help you with anything in particular?”

“I’m interested in literature,” I said. “Also religion.”


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