An Unexpected Find

I went to the used bookstore today. Going to such bookstores is almost dangerous for me because it’s virtually a guarantee that I’ll acquire three new books, at minimum. You never know what you’re going to find when you go to the used bookstore, so imagine my surprise (and happiness) at discovering this book.

This is basically the definitive Nabokov biography, at least from what I’ve heard. Unfortunately, it’s volume two–the store did not have volume one. To be honest, though, I would prefer to read volume two because I know less about Nabokov’s American years than his European ones. (His autobiography, Speak, Memory, which I devoured last year, deals with his life until 1940, when he fled Europe because of World War II.) And yes, though the biography is close to 800 pages, I am so looking forward to reading it because I’m seriously obsessed with Nabokov.

Other items acquired at the bookstore: Julie & Julia, which I read this afternoon (yes, I read fast). Verdict: it was good, but the movie was better. This is actually a rare occurrence: most of the time, books are vastly better than the movies they later spawn. One need look no further than Harry Potter (all of the films pale in comparison to the books); The Golden Compass (also known as Northern Lights if you’re in the non-American English-speaking world); The Lovely Bones (this one actually had a lot of potential to be an excellent movie adaptation, but the potential just was not fully realized). But Julie & Julia ended up much better as a film than as a book.

Strangely enough, I only bought two books today, thus going against the rule I wrote at the beginning. But if you really think about it, perhaps the Nabokov biography could count as multiple books since it’s way longer than your average book…

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