My poor, depleting savings

No, it’s not the stock market. Well…it’s not *only* the stock market. I’ve just discovered a beautiful little bookstore that will quickly and efficiently empty my bank account.

Idlewild Books, conveniently located on 19th Street just west of 5th Ave (and a quick 15-minute walk from my apartment) opened six months ago. Its theme? Travel books – guides, histories and novels, organized by region. Five minutes after I read about it I bundled into my winter coat and set a brisk pace across town. I managed to practice some self-control and buy only four books ($63.89), but I’ll be back there in two days for an evening of spicy Hungarian wine and inevitably fried Hungarian food to promote “Food Wine Budapest“. I’m sure that after a few glasses of Gere Barrique I’ll whip out my credit card and go crazy. I’m screwed.

So what did I buy? I’m planning a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, with my dad next year, so I feel like I need to bone up on my Russian lit and history. After St. Pete I hope to take the Trans-Siberian railway to Vladivostok, so of course I need to learn more about Siberia. And finally, I am still obsessed/intrigued by Burma after my trip there earlier this year. (I just finished The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh so I’m eager to return.) My edited haul:

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Solzhenitsyn

Silverland, by Dervla Murphy (I wanted to buy Through Siberia By Accident, but it was out of stock)

The Lizard Cage, by Karen Connelly

Tree of Smoke, by Denis Johnson (just because I have to read it)

Let me tell you: I could have bought twice as many. Travel and books. This is what I spend my money on.

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