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>Half of June: Buying

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I’ve got to go ahead and confess my buyings early this month, because I’m taking my annual trip to the USA next week and probably won’t be able to blog until I get back in late July. Mom has dial-up. Or should I say die-all up? Most of the time I just say: Painful!

Crashing through What The Book? like a crazed (insert-your-favorite-large-animal-here), I bought the first 3 on June 5, so you can see that I really have tried to restrain myself for most of the month.
Bonk – Mary Roach. I actually bought this for my friend Val’s birthday. I wanted to buy her something luxurious and tantilizing from Skin Food (Korea’s answer to Bath and Body Works) but the owner of the store in Onyangoncheon attached herself firmly to my side and refused to give me space to browse. I got all sweaty and headachy (no shit — she was standing close enough to iron my clothing with her body!) and finally fled, buying only a small container of coffee-scented shower scrub. The next day found me at WTB? where I’ve seen the owner, Chris, exactly twice (at a comfortable distance) in the four years I’ve been shopping there. Whew.
Hitch 22 – Christophen Hitchens. Incredibly, this memoir was already in the Used books section, but still kind of expensive since it’s a hardcover. This one wasn’t for me, either. I bought it for The Spawn. I got him on the phone first, just to be sure: “Hitchens book. Found it. You want it? What’s it gonna be, Boy? Yes OR No?” While he was still stammering out his surprised and grateful thanks, I said, “OK!” and flipped my phone shut.

Korean For Dummies – Jungwook Hong, Wang Lee. I bought this with good intentions about breaking down my resistance to learning Korean, but now I’m wondering if I did the right thing. There’s not a drop of Hangul, the Korean writing system in this book. Every single word has been Romanized, and it feels as if a large and crucial part of the language puzzle is missing. The book also seems sloppily edited. All is not lost — I can still get some good out of it by looking at the pronunciation guide and trying to write the words out in Hangul.

The Plump Pig – Alf and Helen Evers. I already confessed this a couple of posts ago. I’m a little nervous about having bought this book online and also about paying so much money for it, but if it’s presentable, it’ll all be worth it to see the look on my mother’s face. I’ll be sure to have my camera at the ready. I’m also trying to come up with a puzzling, porcine-related lead-in gift, like pig potholders or a package of microwave bacon, but I haven’t worked it out properly yet.
To recap: 2 used, 1 new and one damn-near-antique. One for me and the rest for other people. A good month’s work. Money well-spent. When I buy a book for someone, it’s like I’m expressing my affection for this person in the purest form possible.


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