Bookstore Nostalgia

MiniaturesA few weeks back I was in a couple of my favorite bookstores doing a little bit of browsing and not much buying. While I was walking through the two stores I could not help but be drawn into a couple of the sections and reminded of somethings from the past that I have kind of left behind. A couple of those things that I came across, I have to admit, definitely label me as the geek type way back when, though I admit I have no problem with that aspect of things. Just a bit of warning for you though, I am probably going to sound really geeky in talking about the various subjects, which range from gaming, miniatures, reading fantasy, and just sitting in a bookstore browsing a possible purchase over a cup of coffee.

My first little browsing came across the section in the used bookstore of role-playing games. Yeah, I am talking about those things like and including Dungeons & Dragons, that used a little bit of math, a few funny shaped dice, and a LOT of imagination. Of particular interest was the editions that have come out. When last I was really involved the advanced rule set was on the second edition of the rule set. It would appear that third and fourth edition have been out since then (of which I really only new of the third edition) and if I followed the books correctly there must be a fifth edition. Also of interest is the path the company, which was twenty years ago independent, has taken through a couple of different turns to end up under the ownership of a major toy company. Of all of that though, the most interesting and most nostalgic was the recent release of the Red Box beginners set that was my first exposure way back in late junior high school.

Another section that I came across, not far off from the previous one is the fantasy book sections in the two stores. I have not really read much in the way of fiction in about fifteen years and really slowed down even before then, being much more inclined toward non-fiction in that time. I do remember with a great deal of joy the weekends devoted to re-reading Tolkien and an introduction to the original DragonLance novels by Weis and Hickman. A big part of what started to turn me off fantasy was the constant comparison to Tolkien that in general never stood up to the muster. Anyway, I noticed the after the huge amount of extensive DragonLance series by other authors, some of which was okay and some of which was not so great – that Weis and Hickman have written a fourth installment of the original series some time back and an entire new trilogy set in the same world. I would love to revisit those original characters once more, but feel I would I have to go back to the originals to get a good feeling for them again.  I am even reminded of the notebook and folder of notes combining fiction and the gaming above that is the plan for and outline for a book, one of these days.

In another section, again not far from the previous two was a few titles that related to miniature war gaming. For those that are not familiar with the concept, this is using miniature figures of about one inch tall or smaller, that represent armies of various time periods or even fantasy elements. Just looking at the books reminded me of the number of the troops that I have in silver metal color in a box or two upstairs. Having sold most of the ones that were painted sometime ago, I am left with several hundred that would need a paint job to take the field with honor. Reminds me of the endless winter afternoons spent fighting various foes and painting up new minions. That was of course before I got into the jousting and such for real.

And of course, I just love picking up something I am unsure about in regards to a purchase and having a cup of coffee while looking though the pages. That is something not often found in new bookstores, but the used one still allows it these days. And the coffee is just coffee, but still free.

What is there out there that some of you feel nostalgic about?