Friday, December 4, 2020

Knoxville's calling

I never know how to start these McKay's posts, or how to make them sound more exciting than just "Hey, I went to Knoxville a couple of weeks ago, and got a bunch of mixed media at McKay's", but that's pretty much how it usually breaks down.

Although, thanks to hearing about another bookstore, I did venture a little north of Knoxville for the first time on this trip as well (more on that at the end of the post), so that was a little different. I guess the only other thing of note would be that I took some no longer wanted action figures - ones that weren't sellable on the eBay - with me, and ended up getting $90 in store credit, which was a lot more than I was expecting. I can buy a lot of books and DVD's with ninety bucks, or even some more action figures, that is if their stock ever recovers. Seems like the Rona has made everyone toy-crazy, and stuff is being sold just as quick as it's being put out.

I suppose that's enough of a build-up for today, I've got a lot of pictures to get through...

I mentioned the last time I did one of these that I've been on a bit of a quest to acquire (and reacquire) a lot of the books from childhood, most notably those from Christopher Pike, Nicholas Pine, and Bob Stine. The online prices for these books is stupid, but thankfully McKay's is usually good for a couple per trip, with prices usually ranging between 95¢ and $1.50.

There were two different editions of this book there, this one, which is chunky and says that it has 16 stories, and then a thinner one, with maybe only half the stories in it. Considering that they were the same price (75¢), chunky obviously won out.

I realize that a lot of the stuff in these posts is stuff that not a lot of other people care about, so I never want to spend a lot of time writing about something that folks are just gonna skip by. I will say this though, as far as modern cozies go, the Gideon Oliver series is my favorite, and is the only one that I'm trying to read all of, albeit out of order (not that that really matters with this series).

I got, and read, Aaron Elkins' A Glancing Light, a few years ago, and thought that it was just a one-off, but apparently I was wrong, turns out it was #2 in a three-book series. Hopefully book #1 here will be as good as #2 was.

This is usually one of the more expensive Predator books, so it was nice to finally find a cheap copy.

I read a few issues of Hellblazer way back when, and wasn't overly impressed. Because of this, I never bothered to see Constantine (which was based on the comic), heck, I don't think I ever even saw the trailer for it -- and yet, I found this novelization on a shelf, thought it sounded good, and didn't hesitate to give it a try. I'm glad I didn't either, because it was pretty good. As fleshed out as it is, I can't imagine even half of this stuff being in the film (it'd half to be like eight hours long), which makes me still not want to see it. I do wish that they would've wrote some more books for the property though.

They'll be some more books below, but I'm gonna switch gears for a moment and head over to the bargain DVD/Blu-Ray section.

The bargain DVD section is still just as packed as ever, a couple thousand strong packed, but it seems like it's getting harder for me to find things for, well, me. Their adding a lot more anime stuff to the mix (I don't go for the anime), and the straight to video Blu-Ray stuff has been on the increase as well. And when I do find something good as of late, it's usually something that I already have, like The Bishop's Wife, except in this instance, it was something that I only had on video. This is my second favorite Christmas film (It Happened on 5th Avenue being the first), and I've been trying to upgrade it to DVD for a quite awhile now, but never wanted to pay the long-time price tag of $20 to do so. Apparently the price came down at some point, and I wasn't paying attention, because this sealed copy only set me back $1.95 in credit.

This is a perfect example of why I spend over an looking through thousands of cheap DVD's every time I go there. I absolutely love finding old films that I'm familiar with, but have never had the opportunity to see. Thankfully too, most of the other people who are looking through the cheap stuff don't seem to be looking for films like this.

Not much of a movie haul this time, but I made up for it a little bit by looking through all of the bargain CD's (95¢ or less), which is something that I don't do very often, if only because they're in an awkward location, or at least it's awkward for me.

This is past their prime B-52's, but still turned out to be a pretty good album... once you get past the first two track! Those first two songs are atrocious! Couldn't show the back on this one, because they decided to use cute writing that's so cute it's almost impossible to read.

I left a few of the price tags on just for post's sake. I've had Yazoo's first album on cassette for-ever, but didn't mind upgrading for a quarter (by the by, the B-52's were 25¢ as well).

It's not very often that you'll find a CD for a nickel, especially a CD with absolutely no scuffs or scratches. I like Live, and have fond memories of their first album (and the time period when it came out), but only ever cared for a couple of songs on this album, which is why I never bought it --- But. For. Five. Cents!

At 95¢, this was my 'big ticket' CD purchase. Like most best of's, it's got a few questionable choices, but was worth the price for what is there. On a semi-related note, I just recently saw the video of Chris Cornell performing Wild World with Cat Stevens from a couple of years back, and it's really good. If you're a fan of either, you might want to check it out. Chris is clearly holding back as to not overwhelm Cat's vocals, and to not take over someone else's song, but it still works. And of course too, it's just neat to see the two of them on stage together.

I told you that I'd come back to books, so here I am coming back to books, and free books to boot! I actually hit the free box before going in, but didn't want to start off with the free stuff, if only because it's a little less exciting than the bought items.

Anyone interested in antiques is probably familiar with the Kovels, as the husband and wife team were kind of a big deal there for a while, they even had their own television show for a bit. I'm not really a fan of their books, and would never buy one, but for reference purposes, I'll grab any that I find for free.

They don't sell videos McKay's, and haven't since I've been going there, so it's a little surprising to find one out in the free box. Obviously someone brought in, only to find out that the store doesn't take them, and didn't want to take it back home them. McKay's may not have wanted it, but I did!

I'm not really a religious person per se, but I found this little booklet at the bottom of one of the bins, and since it's clearly old, I felt the need to do what I often find myself doing when encountering an old unwanted thing, I saved it. I know that there's a few religious folks that come around here occasionally, so if anyone wants it, I'd love to pass it along to someone who'll be more interested in it's contents than I. The staples are rusty, but the pages are in pretty solid shape. 

Uh... yeah... I haven't really looked at this yet, so not much to say.

WWII fiction isn't normally my thing, but I also haven't tried to read too much of it either.

Atlas Shrugged is something that I've been meaning to read for decades now, but have just never done so, free is a good incentive to finally do so though.

Golf isn't really my thing either, but I read a page from this when I picked it up, and it looked promising, despite it's golfiness.

And finally, my favorite of the freebies. This book is chunky, like being good for cracking walnuts chunky. And it is loaded with good sh*t! I know that these collections are a dime a dozen , or at least they used to be, and it's missing it's dust jacket, but I'm still amazed that it could be found for free, sign of the times I suppose?

That wraps up the McKay's portion of the post, I think I did fairly well, certainly worth the drive. 

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I heard about another bookstore that's located in Alcoa, which was about a twenty-minute drive north of McKay's, so I decided to give it a go. 

This side-trip ended up kind of being a waste of time. Apparently the Alcoa highway is undergoing construction, so getting there took a lot longer than it was supposed to. Then the bookstore ended up being a little less than was proclaimed by the good folks on Yelp. It was smaller than expected, didn't have an inventory that was suited to my interests, and the prices, yeah, they were a bit high. I spent about ten minutes in there, and didn't mind a single thing.

All was not lost though, as I did see a thrift store a couple of blocks away, and figured that I might as well check it out while I'm there.

I've already forgotten the name of the store, but I wasn't too enamored with it either. I did find a wicked cool DVD though, one of a film that I somehow hadn't ever heard of before. This was an easy pick-up, especially since Henry Fonda is always money in westerns, and this one was no exception. If you like westerns featuring uncommonly deep characters, I'd highly recommend this one. 

While the two stores weren't so great, I did like what I saw of Alcoa, it sort of reminded me of a few areas back home. If they ever get the highway fixed, I might find myself taking another trip back over there, minus these two stores. I saw a flea market on the way too, so that might be enough of an excuse alone to go back someday...

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.


  1. The B-52's Good Stuff was a very underrated album - like you said there are a few misses, but overall the album is good. The Live album, while nowhere near the quality of the first two albums, was worth a nickel!

    1. I don't think it's possible to properly convey just how bad "Hot Pants" is. It's honestly one of the worst songs that I've ever heard.

  2. Cool finds! My favorites: The cover art on the Dick Tracy and Scandinavian Review books and the Donat DVD. As for the Harvey Penick book, I think I read it way back when it was first released. You might like it despite the golfness. The game of golf has a lot of parallels to the game of life, and Penick is a good storyteller. (Not to mention being an esteemed golf instructor for many, many years.)

    1. I've been thinking about doing some reviews here on the blog, or at least my version of a review, so if I'm able to get through that book, and there's anything interesting for me to bring up, it might just make the cut.

  3. I really, really wish I had the attention span to read books that are over 200 pages long, because I probably would be interested in reading those WWII fiction books or ones like them.

    As for these McKay's posts... I don't think they need to sound interesting... because I'm gonna check it out regardless. Why? I want to see all the goodies you picked up.

    1. Prior to this year, I had only read a couple of books in the last five years or so, but after making the effort to change that, have really got back into reading for fun this year. I find the current film/internet/television offerings to be absolutely abysmal, and one can only watch so many reruns, so this has really helped to fill the void.

      And I appreciate that, I never can tell how these are going to go over with folks.

  4. Can never go wrong with RL STine finds!

  5. The first place I go to in a thrift shore is the book section. Love this post and the variety. You’ve picked up is cool. My dream someday is tho have a huge library surrounded by old book.

    1. Do you already have a lot of old books? Or are you waiting until you get that library to acquire them?

    2. I have quite a few now that are in storage. Once we settle down someplace, going to convert one of my rooms into a library!

    3. That's a nice thing to be able to look forward to.

  6. I used to read on the train every day - I'm way behind on my reading now that I'm home all the time. I think the free stuff you got was actually some of the most interesting. I was intrigued by the sticker on the Kovel's book. I looked up Anco but couldn't find anything relevant. A local bookstore?

    1. I honestly don't know what the Anco is/was. If it was a bookstore, it's no longer around.

  7. I am a huge non-fiction reader, so I am not sure about all of the books, but I do like some of the CDs you found. I have all of my music digitally now, so I gave away most of my CDs. There are still a few floating around here and there. I owned that Live CD. Not nearly as good as the previous album or Mental Jewelry, but still a few quality songs on there. Also love the Cat Stevens Greatest Hits album. One of my favorite unwind, quiet time listens in the Cat.

    1. I used to be a lot more into non-fiction than I am now. These days I'll read maybe one to every 5-6 fiction. I'll never be able to give up physical media, I like tangible things too much to ever do so. I also enjoy the ritual, or act, of taking things out of cases, and putting them in whatever machine to play quite a bit as well. A couple of mouse clicks wouldn't give me the same kind of satisfaction that I get from handling clunky, often obsolete, bits of technology.