Books were the saving grace of my rather fragmented and isolated childhood as well. I am especially fond of secondhand bookstores and all the exciting promise they hold. I don’t think I have ever come out of a secondhand book shop without some purchase or other.

Times are not what they were, but my neighborhood continues to have one very fine secondhand book shop, one terrific independent book shop with two locations, and a chain university bookstore that will serve in a pinch if ever I am at that end of the neighborhood.