Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung

Old Books, Knitted Slippers, and Everybody Loves Raymond

Jean ChungComment

Well, first of all, Happy Holidays! I had a very quiet Christmas, and fully intend to spend another quiet New Year's Eve. No wild night out, no parties, no eating until I feel like food is coming out of my ears. Just me. In my room. =)

But other than that, break is baddddd for me. Why? Because I feel like the world stops when school stops. Haha. Today, I came to the library to work and looked at all the newspapers, thought, "wow, the world keeps going on without school...?"

I can hardly get out of bed.  I go to sleep at 4~5 in the morning, because I watch old episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond (there are like.. 9 seasons), West Wing, Brothers and Sisters, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal.. or maybe some Korean variety shows on YouTube.

So yesterday, I finally had to get out of my bed and actually out of my apartment. Before I went out and watched Marley & Me on Christmas, I'd stayed in my apartment for 3 days straight. After Christmas, I stayed in for 2 days. And actually, I enjoyed it. It was just like college, I'd stay in my dorm room all day that my friends thought I went away for the weekend.

But that was when I was going slowly insane.

So I decided to explore a little and go someplace I've never been. There was this used books/rare books store that I have meaning to go to since summer. There are two stores like that in vicinity: Bookman Too, and Camelot Books. They both sell and buy used/rare books but the two have very distinctive characters.

Bookman Too

19111 Beach Blvd. Huntington Beach, CA

Upside: This shop is well lit, neatly organized and except for the fact that books are not new, looks like any regular small mom-and-pop bookstore. It actually looks like a nice library. That's how well organized it is. Prices are very reasonable, and you'll find old (books that came out before you were born), "new" (books that came out this year), and everything in between. I bought 3 books from here for about $15. The Dante Club (Matthew Pearl), The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver), one more I can't remember. I haven't read any of them yet. =x

Downside: Kind of a lonely place.. I dont know if it was just that day, but I was like the only customer that afternoon. The store isn't small, it's pretty big, but it was very lonesome. I didn't even see the cashier (maybe the owner?) until I went to pay for my stuff.

Camelot Books

18838 Brookhurst St. Fountain Valley, CA

Seriously in love with this store. I love it more than Bookman Too. I walked in, I saw a mom and a little kid picking out their books in the Children's Book section, the owner was making small conversation with them, complimenting the kid on his taste in books. Cute. =)

At the first glance, this store might turn you off a little. It's EXTREMELY messy, there are books everywhere, on the floor, by the wall, on the shelf, off the shelf, EVERYWHERE. For the size of the store (which isn't all that small) there are SOOOO many book, and in a VERY GOOD way. It smells like old books too, in a VERY GOOD way.

Within a couple of minutes, when the shock of seeing that many books subsides, you'll start to feel the love. And you'll start to soak in the love; love the for the books, literature, and history. If you're like me, a law student who used to study beautiful poetry and sweet literature and now feel like you completely lost the sense of beauty in life because these judges write terribly, TERRIBLY, boring opinions, you will feel totally inspired here. Different editions of As I Lay Dying (Faulkener), new Jodi Picoult, Virginia Wolfe,  Richard Wright... I probably spent over an hour in the fiction section. For all y'all Tolkien fans, there are SOOO many editions too.

There was no one to bother me every 5 minutes (need any help?/can I help you with anything?/are you finding everything ok?, etc). There are steps, so you can reach the top shelf yourself, and then there are chairs where you can read the first chapter of whatever book you're kind of thinking about buying.

I ended up getting Wuthering Height (Emily Bronte). I haven't read it since 5th grade so I instantly fell in love with this book. There were several different editions of this book, including the one that was published in 1965. I was gonna get that but it was too difficult to read, so I chose this one, hardcover, no preface, unabridged edition of it from 1980s.

The owner is so sweet. I can tell he's a great guy. He reminds me of a law professor here at Whittier. Big glasses, jeans, shirt, quick-stepped.. When he's not behind the counter, he's shelving away books, books, and books. I'm not a chatty person (not with strangers, anyway), so I didn't get to talk to him or anything but when I went to pay for my book, he made comments about the book and the movie based on it, seemed very knowledgeable about books.

Did I mention that I LOOOOOOOOOOVE this bookstore??

And there were new people coming in constantly while I was there.

Lastly, here's my latest project: KNITTED SLIPPERS

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It's cold at night thesedays..

I made it double stranded (Bernat Baby Coordinate & Red Heart SuperSaver). Super Saver is this cheap-o yarn that makes almost indestructible fabric which is why it's ideal for children's clothes, etc. The fabric DOES get softer a lot after one or two washings. But use this yarn with something soft, like Baby Coordinate which I no longer use because of its poor quality and ugly color/sheen, it makes a very thick, fuzzy, but soft fabric. I didn't even need to block it or wash it. I'm making another pair with same Super Saver yarn but with Caron Simply Soft and it's even prettier!

Tip: Get one of those "straight" needles with cable cords, like mine. And knit a pair at the same time. It's easier and you don't have to get impatient with one slipper on your feet, waiting for the next one to get done. =)

Time Consumed: 2 Hours

Pattern: (Free) Aunt Maggie's Slippers