Bliss Thru Shopping: Bookin’ it

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Two words that have never gone together in the history of words getting together and pairing off:

Risqué cookbook.

“First You Take a Leek” was a thing of beauty displayed on the wall at Twice Sold Tales, its colors a little soft with time but clearly showing a little cartoon man sidled up to the edge of the cover ready to let leak. (Unfortunately, the book was just as clearly labeled “Not For Sale.”) We were already smitten with the used bookstore — really, who wouldn’t love a store that valued a Simon Cowell hardcover at all of 20 cents? — but this find sealed it.

Books rule. And bookstores? They rule the world! Serenely so.

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Twice Sold Tales and Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers, a new books store, were the final stops on our fabulous Farmington road trip. A mere two blocks apart in the middle of the downtown, they were a great way to close out the visit.

Anatomically punny cookbook. Super gigantic dictionary. Tales of zombie makeout sessions. What more could you want from a shopping trip?

• “I don’t mean to be rude, but …” by Simon Cowell, Twice Sold Tales, 5-for-$1 table

Also on this table: “The Sidelight, Official Publication of the Maine Obsolete Auto League” from the early ’90s. Given the choice, we’d spring for the auto mags.

• “Maine Curiosities” by Tim Sample and Steve Bither, TST, $7

Twice Sold Tales offered shelf after shelf of Maine-themed books and books written by Maine authors. Stephen King? Of course. Richard Russo? Tons. Tim Sample? Um. Oddly, yes. We always kind of thought of Tim Sample as a Maine curiosity. This book doesn’t change that.

• “Journalism Matters” by Peter Cox, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers, $20

Sadly ironic because “Journalism Matters” author Peter Cox co-founded the Maine Times in Topsham. You know, that paper that doesn’t exist anymore.

• “I kissed a zombie, and I liked it” by Adam Selzer, DDG, $7.99

*ding, ding, ding* All available book titles are now officially taken.

• 1938 Webster’s New International Dictionary (Unabridged,) TST, $15

How unabridged, you wonder? Just over 3,200 pages of wordy goodness. Take that, iPad!

• Tarzan books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, TST, various prices

Sure, zombies and vampires are all the rage now, but remember when pop culture was all about a certain strong-and-silent-type jungle hero? Take a break from the blood-sucking undead and re-live the chest-thumping, vine-swinging magic of yesteryear. TST had more than 15 Tarzan books, most of them hardcovers from the early 20th century. Grab “The Son of Tarzan,” for example, for $4. A deal in any genre.

• David A. Carter Pop Up note cards, 8-pack, DDG, $18.99

3-D dots and swirls that make your little nothings stand out.

• Melissa & Doug plush Bird House Shape Sorter, DDG, $24.99

Cute kids’ toy for that next shower you’re dragged, er, happy to attend. Plus, birds are cool.

Best find: “Hot Rod Hamster” by Cynthia Lord, DDG, $16.99

Adorable children’s book about a chubby, fuzzy hamster and his hot rod race with the big boys. Guaranteed to make both kids and adults squeal with delight. Colorful illustrations by Derek Anderson, story by Maine writer Cynthia Lord. The copy Shopping Siren spotted was actually signed by the author — you can’t find that on Amazon.

Think twice: “Fun on Foot in New England” by Warwick Ford, DDG, $16.95

On the cover: “The best places to run, jog, walk around Boston and throughout …” Apologies to Mr. Ford, but we’d rather seek out “Pouring alcohol on weeping sores: A beginner’s guide.” Running is not a favored pastime of ours. Though, that said, neither is cooking with leeks and we’re willing to try that now. Books can change the world!

* Prices as of 3/30

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who like to wee, wee, wee all the way home) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at baglady@sunjournal.com and shoppingsiren@sunjournal.com.

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