Myth-conceptions

‘What shall we do today?’ asked Jennifer and I over the phone. ‘The usual?’ The usual, which indeed we ended up doing, was to meet up at Half Price on Broadway. We also walked around Brackenridge Park—somehow neither of us had ever gone there despite both of us growing up in the city—and continued the ‘usual’ of eating at Taco Cabana and then going to see a movie at the Quarry. (We saw The Book of Eli. It was excellent.)

What puzzled me about Half Price, however, was the placement of the folklore section. Every used book store I’ve been to in the past few weeks (and this has been a fair few) has put the folklore section mixed in with the ‘metaphysical’, or new age/wicca section, amusingly often enough next to the ‘self help’ section. The one that didn’t put folklore with the metaphysical put it with mythologies on the tail end of poetry (the link between poetry and mythology being Homer and Arthur). Yet every time I have begun to look for the folklore section, as I am on a quest for a certain out-of-print book for my thesis, I have started with religion. Instead, I end up going upstairs, or downstairs, to a completely different part of the store to find a meagre selection of fairy tales. At least the store that put folklore with the mythologies made sense.

Did I find the Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, & Other Supernatural Creatures by Katherine Briggs? I did not. I did, however, find a wonderfully illustrated hardcover edition of The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for only $2…

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