Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nerman's Books & Collectibles, Winnipeg

I first learned how to think strategically when my family ate holiday dinners at my grandparents' house. After cleaning my plate to spec, I could usually be excused early from the table so that the adults could converse without my petulant interruptions. What to do next, however, required some consideration.

The television room beckoned, of course. My grandparents had a large cabinet color TV, and so long as there wasn't a popular sporting event like the Grey Cup being broadcast my watching would probably be unsupervised for the next hour or two. But with only three channels to choose from, and holiday programming being notoriously tedious, this option held little appeal. Besides, nothing was more likely to motivate my mother to draft me into dish-washing duty than the sound of the television being turned on.

The sounder strategy was to disappear into the basement. An enormous box of my uncle's comics and MAD Magazines were stashed in a closet down there. And once I'd tired of that, there were countless treasures to be discovered with just a little detective work: toys my father owned, books from another era inexplicably stashed beneath the workbench, even the occasional horde of pure pulp gold.

Nerman's Books & Collectibles (h) is like my grandparents' basement, with a vengeance.

I visited it with a friend, who was instantly drawn to this Lone Ranger six-string:

If you must have respectable reading, it can be found here. But Nerman's is chiefly about the pulp.

It's also about vintage children's books, whether we're talking Uncle Wiggily, Big Little Books (of every era, just behind the guitar) or Choose Your Own Adventure. I bought this Man From U.N.C.L.E. Title, and an old Leigh Brackett two-fer, both of which I shall promptly stow away for visits from future nosy grandkids (not necessarily my own):

So far as I know, the six-string is still there. If you want it, go now.


DarkoV said...

Gawd, but there's something really attractive about a bookseller north of the border who, as they put it, will "drive down to Pembina North Dakota and ship by US Post" to us poor slobs in the lower 48.

Is there a time limit you give yourself when you cross their doorstep?

Whisky Prajer said...

Ooooooooh, yeah. I had to be out of there by dinnertime.