I’m Bree. I currently reside in central Texas, where I work for a non-profit and preserve history on the side. Outside of work and side projects, I read a lot. Books were my first love, and to this day we’re still going strong.
I’m also a picky reader. I suspect everyone is picky about what they read, in one way or another, but I’m, like, really picky. Mainstream contemporary fiction tends to leave me feeling like I’ve just eaten cotton candy—sweet, sticky, maybe filling, but not in any way nutritious. Intelligent contemporary (literary) fiction, on the other hand, is often so darn depressing, I feel I need some cotton candy to balance things out. The reading journey is all about variety, but these days I prefer to avoid the extremes.
Enter: the really-good-but-almost-entirely-forgotten class of books.
In spite of never (or rarely) reading these books, we all know them. They’re the cheap books that populate your local thrift shop. They’re the books you find at yard sales after someone’s grandma passes away. Overwhelmingly, they’re the books that languish on library shelves for decades at a time, until eventually the harlequin and vampire (and sometimes harlequin vampire) paperbacks begin to demand more space. That’s when these dusty hardback books, long since parted from their haggard dust jackets, find themselves in a dark, moldy library basement. If they’re lucky, the next library sale might bring them a new owner. More often, though, they’re unlucky and end up being thrown away/recycled.
My goal is to restore these forgotten books—most of them published in the mid-20th century—and give them a second chance.
(Incidentally, I considered calling this blog Second Chance Books but, well, that sounds a bit like a halfway house, doesn’t it?)
The challenge I face most often in this blog is finding new old books to read. It’s hard to find something when not many people know it exists! If you have a book recommendation, therefore, please do pass it along.
One of the best resources for Another Look Book, I’ve found, is the site OpenLibrary. While the works in this blog aren’t usually old enough to be in the public domain (and therefore available for no-strings-attached download), many of them are available as books you can borrow for a week. If you’ve never checked out OpenLibrary, I highly recommend it. Its only pitfall is that its browsing/tag feature is horrible…or maybe just incomplete. Search, however, works like a champ!
Of course, there’s always good, old-fashioned physical books! For tracking down physical copies, I’m a huge fan of BookFinder. It’s been called “the Google of rare books,” as it compiles book listings from all over the Internet and lets you browse them on one site.
Like many devout readers today, I acknowledge the ease of acquiring and reading a digital book. Still, to me there is something sacred about a nice copy of an old book. Sometimes I like to take pictures of their prettiest parts. Excluding scanned cover images, any photography is my own. If you want to share any photos, in respect for my work please link them back to this site!