Monday, June 24, 2024

A romance of Ōtepoti

The lovely wife and I have been together for 20 years now, but the romance ain't dead - the other day she let me loose to drive around the second hand bookshops of Dunedin for a couple of hours, and with two young children demanding all our attention and energy, that's the most romantic thing in the world anybody could do for me right now.

I'm somehow now living in a town with no second-hand bookshops at all, so it's a thrill to get to any, and the bookstores of Dunedin have been my favourites since I was a kid. In two hours I was able to check out the offerings at six different shops, and it was so, so good.

Just having the time for some super-fast browsing, hooning between stores in our family car, dropping ten or twenty bucks at each place on something interesting, having a quick yarn with the dude behind the counter and shooting off to the next one. I take my kicks where I can get 'em.

While my obsession with all things comics isn't anywhere near what it once was, I still got a tiny pile of treasures, including a couple of recent 2000ads and Dredd megazines; half a dozen black and white horror comics reprinting short shocks from DC, Charlton and Warren; and a Lion annual I had when I was eight and got rid of years ago, and now I remember all about the Carson's Cubs football team and the Phantom Viking (I never forgot the Spider or Robot Archie).

I also got a bunch of old 2000ad sci-fi and winter specials that I already own, but are significantly better condition than the ones I've been reading to death since the 1980s; a British Incredible Hulk annual from 1979 that has been driving me mad as I try to figure out who the artist is; and the World's Finest mini-series drawn by Steve Rude, that I've been dying to read since 1990.

I got the last Essential Tomb of Dracula book I've been after for years, (those black and white Essebtial books can be surprisingly hard to track down); a Doctor Who novel featuring the 12th Doctor and an entirely unexpected Bernice Summerfield; and one of Colin Wilson's book from the days where a treatise on consiousness and the human condition could be sold as a mass market paperback.

I used to go out and get this kind of booty every Saturday afternoon, but the world has moved on from those days, and so have I. It doesn't mean I can't still find the romance in the browsing, when I get the chance. 

(And for the record, the lovely wife thinks the most romantic thing she's ever seen is this scene from Deadwood, and I can not deny it..)

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