The last few weeks, I have been searching the local used bookstores for Louisiana history books. Since the loss of Kaboom Books after the storm (my favorite used bookstore, which was run by the most intelligent and well-informed man I have ever met) I have never been able to replace it. Every few months, I would bike down to Kaboom in the French Quarter with an empty backpack and a list. I was always sure to find something I wanted, and something I did not expect.
Thus far, in my hunt, I have not been able to find a few specific titles I have been searching for, but I have found a few terrific discoveries.
A few weeks ago, I went to The Book Rack in Metairie. They had just received a box of New Orleans history books. None of them were priced, and while the prices the elderly gentleman in charge came up with seemed to be a bit high (and he kept adding them up incorrectly until I just kinda gave up and didn’t bother to correct him), I found, among other books, an old book about the riverfront, one about the streetcar, and one I just checked out of the library, It’s an Old New Orleans Custom.
Last weekend, before the coldest crawfish boil I have ever been to (on the Fly), I went to Blue Cypress Books on Oak Street. At first I was a bit disappointed and slightly disturbed since the store smelled slightly like cat piss (sorry to report that), but I found The South, a collection of Harper’s Weekly articles (which are archived online and I frequently reference) and Louisiana: A Narrative History and Sons of the South. BUT, my big find was a nine-volume, leather-bound collection of Library of American History: From the Discovery of America to the Present Time, published in 1900. It is absolutely beautiful and I got the entire set for $50. My big splurge, but well worth it. I can’t wait to dive into it. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Gorgeous.
I’m till searching for a replacement for Kaboom Books, and doubtful that I will ever find it, but enjoying the scout around. McKeown and Crescent City Books next.