Book fair, November 15, 2015
It was at one of the used book fair I visited… The books are old, soiled, worn (smelled funny even) but still readable. Not looking for anything specific, just scanning for my favourite author(s), or the very least, my favourite genre, novels, thriller, action, sci-fi…
Tagged with low prices, piled on or under a table, it’s usually very difficult to leave empty-handed, me and my sister would surely get something by the end of our rounds. That day we got back with these, about 30 books from the both of us at least.
Dark Tower series. Stephen King books, novel.
Destiny or fate, whatever it is that brought The Dark Tower series, or perhaps my sisters persuasion, I’m not sure, but I recall that day I got away with four, ‘The Gunslinger’, ‘The Drawing of The Three’, ‘The Wasteland’ and ‘Wizard and Glass’ was it luck that the first four was available? Or was it destiny? (exaggerating now) I know that the books were published quite sometime ago, (32 years to be exact) reducing my interest in them and thus had no intention of starting to follow the series, but ‘The Dark Tower’ title, seems to pop up every here and then, even before. Someone would mention it to me about it (there’s a few someone)… or google would turn up with a search result, a tweet here or there, reviews in goodreads, or seen in a store. Subconsciously, intrigued, and since they were as I said before, cheap, I figured that it wouldn’t harm to give it a try.
Book one, ‘The Gunslinger’ read it with not much expectation, and ended unsatisfied, of not knowing what is will happen next… Then the second book ‘Drawing of the Three’ finished it in three days (it was that good to me!) and continued reading the third. Once In an airport book store, going somewhere, (can’t remember where) I found the continuation, ‘Wolves of the Calla’ number five in the series, but did not purchased it because I was thinking “to get it later” at home or something.
Few weeks later, during the last few pages of ‘Wizard and Glass’, I started to look for book five. Went to all available bookshop, only to be dismayed because the title is not available! Next, tried online at local book store company and was devastated that they don’t have it anymore in publication and the only one they got is ‘Song of Susannah’ (#6) and ‘The Dark Tower’ (#7)
Tried few other options but not successful, some had high shipping cost. Even got some help from friends at different city to locate the books at their book store. However, still no success… With that, I paused the story for now and absolutely refused to skip to book six without finding ‘The Wolves of the Calla’ Now there’s a big gap in my life, waiting to be filled. I regretted passing the copy that I accidentally found earlier at the airport store.
Another side of the world, mid May, 2015.
Three month later, it was May, I went for a backpacking trip to Europe, still with the book in mind hoping to find it somewhere in the shelves somewhere in Europe. During transit in Dubai airport, searched to no success, in Istanbul, enquiring english books seem to get me the queer look so I stopped after two book store that I could find nearby. Athens, also failed after a few book store. Rome, while on for a walk one night, I passed what seems a large book store, Feltrinelli, closed but a lot of books, looks promising…
Next morning, went back to the books store, looked around and just saw Italian books, I was ready to get disappointed again and leave when I asked the cashier if they got any books in english, she pointed me to the their store next door ‘Feltrinelli International’ Delighted, went in and there delighted by the sight of english titles available. Still no sign of the one that I want. Asked the store keeper, showed the screen shot of the book, and he went to this pile of books and started searching with his back at me. Few moments later, turned around and handed me ‘The Wolves of The Calla’ …!! I thanked him profusely with all the expression and body sign that I could think of that time and he just smiled, maybe tickled strange. Overwhelmed, I checked it again to make sure I got the right one.
end of my quest
Sounds a bit over exaggerated, searching for a simple book as this halfway across the globe but then again, it does makes an interesting story, I did not expect to get so hyped with this novel in the first place anyway and the ironic thing was that while the characters was on their journey in mid-world adventure, I was going for a backpacking trip with my ‘quest’ for a book, doesn’t hurt fantasizing once in a while … The next time before I get entwined in any book series like this, I’ll make sure they are all available first or end up pulling my hair all over again.