Posted in books


So yesterday I treated myself to a trip to the bookstore. With all the hype about vampires from the new movie “Twilight” right now, it got me interested in finding out how many other literary portrayals of vampires there are.

Wow. Quite a few.

I haven’t read the “Twilight” series, since I’m not a ‘tween (not by a long shot). But I think when the movie comes out on DVD I’ll probably rent it, mostly because it was shot in and around where I live. Apparently the setting, according to the books, is somewhere up in Washington, but almost all the filming locations were here in Oregon. What a hoot. I can identify places in the trailer even. (Anyone want a postcard from the area?)

So as I said, I took myself off to the bookstores yesterday (I say ‘bookstores’, plural, because the first one so traumatized me I had to drive to Shangri-la, aka, Powells, down the road to calm myself). I wanted to look at the new hardcover annotated “Dracula”, Leslie S. Klinger contributor, and an introduction by Neil Gaiman. It’s quite the book, I’d say worth the $39.95 list price but I wasn’t in the mood to pay that much yesterday, and I’m not that much of a Dracula fan. But I had trouble locating it on the shelves. I expected it to be shelved where “Frankenstein” is, either in the sci-fi/fantasy section, or the “Literature” (capital L) section. But no. One of the salespeople(woman) asked if she could help, so she offered to look it up on their computers and see where it might be kept.

Now here’s the sad part. I’m in a bookstore, and I had to tell her, not only WHO the author was, but I had to spell “S-T-O-K-E-R” for her. Twice. I grant you, this was in a Borders, so the staff is not necessarily interested in their own merchandise. I guess I had this fantasy of bookstore clerks actually being readers themselves, knowing something about classic literature. :::::sigh::::: My bubble is burst. I could have understood it if I’d asked for something by Solzhenitsyn, but Stoker? But lo and behold, there it was, in the “Horror” section, with Stephen King. I wandered around for a few more minutes after being unimpressed with the two paperback copies of Dracula they had in addition to the new hardcover, then drove down the road to Powell’s where I was greeted with many editions of Dracula. I picked up a Dover thrift edition for $3.50, and a Terry Prachett, “Witches Abroad”, because I thought a good laugh was in order at this point. I got out of there only $7 poorer.

And shame on me, I missed Bram’s birthday, November 8. Happy Birthday Bram!