reading for pleasure and for escape

If one frequents used bookstores, and browses the many shelves at their leisure, he/she can turn up more than a few gems that are long out of print. And, these can often be had for a very modest price.  We have found many such gems over the years.

Who among us stateside was even aware that there were science fiction writers in the old USSR?


Soviet Science Fiction 2



Fiction reading is purely for pleasure and for escape.  Here is a classic by the English author, William Hope Hodgson.  A promising literary career was cut short by his death in World War One.  He was older than any draft age at the time and had volunteered.  A terrible loss to the literary world of the time. This novel (1908) in a way is ahead of its time, but then the science fiction and fantasy genres are like that.


House on Borderland


Robert E. Howard’s creation, Conan, provides many authors with fertile ground in the heroic fantasy genre (or, alternatively, the sword and sorcery genre).  I found that the stories written by Howard himself were the more entertaining as his writing style was a little more crisp, but all are good. Howard also wrote westerns and wrote many horror short stories that were collected in a large anthology a few years back.  Becoming distraught over the death of his mother, he took his own life in 1936 at age 30.  Sadly, another promising literary career was cut short, way too short.


Rober E Howard


But, how does one find time to read?  It is not always easy.  For years, when I commuted to work on public transit, I read on the train or the street car. As well, if you can, you might be able to read on your lunch hour.  I was fortunate for several years to work for a company that had a corporate library where one could read during lunch time.

There are collections of sci-fi short stories from the age of mass paperback and pulp fiction in the 1960s and early 1970s. “Electrifying science fiction to stretch the imagination.”


Galactic Cluster


Science fiction and adventure are not the only choices for the fiction enthusiast.  There were many spy type novels written in the 1960s and the 1970s.  Edward S. Aarons wrote many good novels with his character, Sam Durell.  This book was one of his later works appearing in 1976.


Edward S Aarons2


A book written in the late 1940s and published in paperback form in the 1960s.  Note the inexpensive cover price.


Time Axis


More science fiction.


Whisper From The Stars 2


One can order books online as well.  Dover Publications, in addition to publishing many good works (both fiction and non fiction) that are otherwise out of print, makes many books and cards for children.


Dover Cards


Here is a very rare look into our study.  Fiction is only a fraction of what I have read over my adult life.


bookcases 3


There are many more books on religion, both East and West, philosophy, and history on the many bookshelves in the house.


bookcases 2


We had to shed many books when we moved last year.  We kept the best for future reference and for posterity.




Several Conan stories were adapted into a black and white comic book that began in the mid 1970s.  I came across Savage Sword of Conan (SSOC) in the late 1970s while attending university.  The cover art by the late Earl Norem and others was impressive on these magazines.  Many years later, when our son was into comic books, I had the opportunity to buy a few of these that I had read years earlier and remembered the cover art.

Here a sorcerer has a python trying to kill Conan.


Conan 4


A cover suggestive of the idea that women are the spoils of battle.  As well, as a weightlifter at the time, I could not fail to notice and appreciate the muscular physique of Conan.  Conan, with battle ax in hand, shield on back, and sword in scabbard, was perhaps the greatest swordsman of the fanciful Hyborian Age.


Conan 6


A frightening, nightmarish scene here.


Conan 2


As well, good music provides an escape.  Long live the 80s for its music.  The music really was better back in the 1980s.  Think of the musical groups and the videos:  Thompson Twins, Duran Duran, Wang Chung, Billy Idol, Simple Minds, etc.  (One can easily listen to these over on YouTube anytime.)

When I listen to the music from the 1980s, I realize happiness is a state of mind independent of current physical (outer) circumstances.

copyright 2016 –


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