Browsing through “2nd hand” bookshops, for me, brings an entirely different level of contentment and relaxation — akin to being harassed and soothed at the same time.
The anticipation of finally finding THE book — although, at best, a one-in-a-hundred thing — never ever gets old. And for good reason!
‘Coz once in a while — if the alignment of stars is just right and if (apparently) my karmic reservoir has just been topped-up — I actually do find the book (that I didn’t know) I was looking for!
Take this latest find of mine, for example… Jolan Foldes‘ The Street of the Fishing Cat.
Hardcover… cloth-bound… 1937 copyright… the Hungarian original being an International Prize Winner of the All Nations Novel Competition… and most importantly — 45 Pesos lang siya! 🙂
The Street of the Fishing Cat is a heart-warming chronicle of an Hungarian family’s life of exile in Paris and the different people that they interact with (or not) as they live in the Rue du Chat-qui-Peche, Paris’ narrowest street (which is actually a real street) and gathering-place of expats young and old, decent and scheming, regal and radical.
In the course of reading the book and sharing in the characters’ daily foibles, they became less like “characters” in a book and more like people I’ve actually met in real life. Which isn’t surprising at all, when one thinks about it — post-World War I Paris may be worlds away from today’s Manila, but peoples’ mundane problems and dreams for a better tomorrow remain true whatever nationality they may belong to, or whichever era they may to live in.
A wonderful read, honestly written, and definitely “unputdownable“!
Go look for a copy at your nearest 2nd hand bookstore… and happy fishing! 🙂