Saturday To-Do: Buy books | Rock Candy

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday To-Do: Buy books

Posted By on Sat, Mar 29, 2008 at 11:17 AM

LORENZEN'S LAST DAY
8 a.m.-6 p.m., Lorenzen and Co. Booksellers. Half price books.

Full disclosure: I spent more than a year loitering behind the cash register, dusting bookshelves and reading thousands of back cover book blurbs at Lorenzen and Co. Booksellers not too long ago. It was a great job, even if it didn't fit my post-collegiate-haze aspiration to land a job where I could read all day long. Still, just surveying shelves and catching fleeting glimpses of sold books on their way into paper sacks expanded and provoked my literary interests immeasurably. Who could envision a cozier store in which to browse, full of tight bookcase passageways, tiny rooms, worn Oriental rugs and sun-bleached armchairs? Then, of course, there's Rod Lorenzen, the store's owner and namesake, who's been a force in the Little Rock book business off, but mostly on, for more than 30 years. He opened the Paperback Writer (which later became WordsWorth) in 1975 and Lorenzen in 1990. You'd be hard-pressed to find a bookseller with more encyclopedic knowledge or an easier smile. After Saturday, when all of the store's remaining books will be half off, there will be no local major retailer of used books. Who cares if you can buy a used copy of “Go Down, Moses” on Amazon for a dollar? I want the unexpected. Go tell Rod you'll miss him and pick up something strange for the road. It goes to a good cause: All proceeds from the last day's sale will go to local literacy projects.

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