Hello my blueberries, and welcome to the second installment of Loud Bookish Type’s irregularly-scheduled bookstore posts! This will be a slightly shorter entry, as it was a much shorter trip – in fact, I was only in the store for about twenty minutes, easily the briefest amount of time I’ve spent in a bookstore in years. So treat this entry as merely an introduction, since I will definitely be back in the future for a more in-depth look at the store.
This was my first visit to Eagle Eye Bookshop, which is located near Emory University in Decatur, GA. It’s very much a college bookstore – most of the staff appear to be Emory students, and many of the used books clearly originated from someone’s required course reading (I’d know those yellow “USED SAVES – Textbooks from YOUR BOOKSTORE” stickers on the spines anywhere). There’s a good mix of new and used books, with lots of new releases. Like I said, my visit was a short one, so I spent most of my time browsing the history section. There was an oddly large selection of military history books, so if that’s your bag, you’ll be very happy with this place. I also noticed a very inviting (but off-limits-looking) little reading room/staff area in the back, with several armchairs and shelf-lined walls. I assume this is where they have author readings and stuff like that, so I’ll investigate further on my next visit.
The reason for the brief visit was that my friend and I weren’t there to buy books, specifically – Neil Gaiman is coming to Atlanta in June, as part of his LAST EVER BOOK SIGNING TOUR OMG thing, and Eagle Eye Bookshop is selling pre-orders of his new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Pre-ordering the book gets you a ticket to the event, and you know that shit’s going to sell like mad, so my friend and I were there ten minutes before the store was even opened. We pre-ordered our books, and the little receipt proving that I bought the book (and can therefore get into the event) is currently the most valuable thing I own. Pity the poor staff of Eagle Eye, who are in for a long day – the entire time I was in the store, the phone was ringing almost constantly, and I could hear the staff already getting tired of rattling off the information about the Gaiman signing.
So obviously I’m very excited about that event, and June seems very very far away. You can expect an entry about the signing, although it may just be the word OMG repeated five hundred times accompanied by some gifs. Anyway, let’s move on to the books, shall we?
Technically I purchased three books, but obviously I do not have The Ocean at the End of the Lane in my possession yet. Let’s move on to the physical books, which were each purchased used, for less than seven dollars.
1. Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar
I’ve been aware of this book, a fictional account of Emperor Hadrian’s life, for several years now – reviews tend to pop up in my update feed on Goodreads.com pretty regularly, and it always struck me as something that I would really enjoy. I know pretty much nothing about Hadrian, but from what I’ve heard, Yourcenar’s book is about more than just reconstructing a man’s life. It’s about history, and how we look at history, and what it means to study history, and those are all things that I love thinking about.
2. Nell Gwyn: Mistress to a King by Charles Beauclerk
Loyal/obsessive readers of this blog will notice that I’ve already reviewed this book – I read it when I was in high school and just beginning my interest in royal mistresses. I remember getting to about the halfway point and then skipping a significant portion of the book, because I thought that Beauclerk was a terrible historian who was waaaay to biased (he’s a direct descendent of Nell, for Christ’s sake, so we can hardly expect him to write about her in anything other than glowing terms). But when I saw this in the bookstore, I decided to give it a second chance. First, because I want to make myself read through the entire thing, no skipping allowed, and see what I can learn the second time around. I don’t really remember much about this book, and would like to rediscover it. And I also wanted to own this book because nonfiction accounts of Nell’s life are very rare – I’ve never seen any others, at least, and I always make it a point to look when I’m browsing a store’s history shelves – and even a biased book about her is still a good source of information. It’ll be interesting to read it again with a fresh perspective.