I Found One!

30 May

It is a Memorial Day miracle!  After a complete dry spell where I have not found a new Pulitzer to read for over a year, I found a 1st edition of The Store by T.S. Stribling.  I have looked for this book, and all of the others yet to be discovered, diligently every time I go into a used book store.  I’d estimate I’ve tried at least 25 times over the past 5 years.  Then this weekend, on a rainy day, with nothing to do but stroll the shops, I found it at my favorite used book store of all:  What Goes Round in Bayfield, WI.  Over all of these years, (this project started in 2009) this bookstore holds the most promise and the most successes of any others.  It also holds the friendliest and book-knowingest staff of any store, bar none.  They always seem to know the most obscure Pulitzer authors, if not for the actual winning books, then for some other title written by them.

Here’s a strange thing:  I’ve looked for last year’s winner, The Sympathizer, at least 10 times in airports and at other random opportunities, and nothing.  It has never been there.  Even when it was a relatively recent winner, like one month later, it was not in bookstores.  That makes me dubious; clearly the book was not beloved or even known, which means it is probably not so good, or possibly an extremely difficult read.  I suppose one day I will find out, but not until it shows up randomly on a used book shelf.

Really, there are so few new book stores out there now-a-days that I doubt my ability even to find this year’s winner (The Underground Railroad).  If a person doesn’t shop on line, then she has to leave her finds to fate, even the newer ones.  But that is the agreement I made with myself on this project, and I suppose that is what keeps it surprising.