Ode to Used Books

I went to the local used bookstore this afternoon with the intention of picking up one (just one!) book, and instead walked out with a precarious stack of lovely pages. This always happens. Even if I walk in expecting to buy nothing, I always end up finding at least one book that I must have right now or else I’ll die! However, my literary shopping addiction/bibliophilism is not the topic of this post.

I actually found a lot of pictures of naked girls with books while looking for this shot. Thanks, Flickr!
(via greencandy8888.)

Used bookstores are the best bookstores, the stuff of nerd dreams. Intrepid readers can find adventure amidst the towering stacks of books and vaguely alphabetized volumes on the shelf. I love how used bookstores always seem overstuffed, like they are secret book factories that continuously create smelly yellowed pages that tumble off shelves. The books that show up in a used bookstore tell you about the reading community in the area as well – cheesy romance readers, literary hipsters, hyper-intellectual academics, or comic-book hoarders. Or, in the case of many foreign English-language used bookstores, ten expats who don’t read very much. You know, whatever.

And, in addition to the romance of it, used books are cheap. Oh yes, oh fucking yes. Waaay better than the big-box book chains, and definitely more interesting. I once bought a poetry book from the 1960s and someone had written a love poem in the front of it before giving it to his “beloved Anne.” It was so sweet I almost barfed.

Here are my top three favorite used bookstores, for my 1,000,000,000 readers in the Denver-Metro area: Continue reading “Ode to Used Books”

Advertisements

Camera Lucida

This past week Boyfriend and I developed and scanned a lot of film. He and his sister built a makeshift darkroom in their parents’ basement equipped to develop and print in black and white. If you are looking to build a darkroom of your own, I highly recommend looking for used equipment on Craigslist and asking around local high schools which may be getting rid of stuff from their lab. Boyfriend’s darkroom cost about $150 for everything (including a film scanner), so it’s definitely possible to do this on a budget.

I borrowed my brother’s Exacta 500 (found on Craigslist for only $15) and had a lovely time shooting on it -the shutter mechanism is quick and crisp, and the whole experience is quite satisfying. Unfortunately the aperture is very broken, meaning only about half of the pictures turned out.

A few of my favorites (all on Rollei Superpan 200, developed with Kodak D-76):

This was outside of a dilapidated/abandoned house for sale next to the highway. I got a few weird looks for pulling off the road and whipping out an old Soviet camera, but whatevs. That's just how I roll.
Somewhere in Longmont, CO.
I love going to old cemeteries. Fairmont was founded in the 1880s, and is a fascinating place to go. If you're into cemeteries, also check out Riverside in north Denver. Also of note, my brother and I joked about taking goth kid portraits while wandering around.
Statue at Fairmont Cemetery in Denver, CO.

Continue reading “Camera Lucida”