Friday, July 21, 2006


I think I've finally worked my way through the paperback buying spree of the last couple weeks. On Wednesday my good friend Pat dropped off about 35 Perry Rhodan novels. It is blowing my mind that this stack of adventures represents a little under two percent of Major Rhodan's adventures. He also through in a Lin Carter novel and John Flint Roy's A Guide to Barsoom, which looks like a great example of pre-internet continuity porn.

However three dozen Perry Rhodan books was not quite enough to sate my lust for cheap and cheesy adventure novels. I reached that point today, for today I got to visit the Old Book Barn. If you're a bookworm and you live anywhere in the general vicinity of Decatur, Illinois then you need to visit the Book Barn in Forsyth. It is your moral obligation as a bibliomaniac. And it's not even hard to get to, as it is one of the last buildings in Forsyth on 51 heading North. It's on the right (east) side of the street at the last stoplight as you leave town, right behind the combo barbecue joint/gas station/bank. No, I'm not making that last part up. In Forsyth you can really find a small brick building that houses a bank, a gas station, and a barbecue restaraunt. The drive-thru for the bank is right next to the pumps.

While more of a shed than a barn (no self-respecting barn lacks an upper story, the so-called hayloft), the Book Barn is still a vast edifice overflowing with books. As with most such outfits there's a vast wasteland of yellowing romance novels, but you can find specialty books of an amazing variety as well. And it's the place to go for books about ghosties in Illinois, as the same building also houses the publisher of a sizable line of Haunted [insert town name] nonfiction, assuming you're of the mind that a collection of vaguely researched folksy bugaboo tales can be described as 'nonfiction'.

The one downer about the Book Barn is that all paperbacks in the sci-fi/fantasy room cost at least two bucks. The upside is that they have a bunch of great stuff. I snagged three more of the Dumarest of Terra series, a Sword & Planet novel by Michael Moorcock (writing under the pen name Edward P. Bradbury), Transit to Scorpio (the first in the immense Dray Prescot series), and the two Conan books that were missing from my collection of Ace paperbacks. Awesome!

For my next trick I need to figure out where the hell I am going to put all these new books. The bookshelves in my game room are already ridiculously overloaded. Surely I can find a place for all these new novels without having to *gasp* get rid of some of the other books.