Books We’re Buying With Our Tax Refunds

Posted by Eric Smith

Hopefully your financial records are a little more up to date than this…(image via flickr)

Tax season is almost totally upon us, and what better way to spend your hard-won tax refund than on sweet, sweet works of literature? We here at Quirk made lists and checked them twice for all the books we’ll cash in on when the refund check arrives.

BRETT COHENThe Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
This is one of the first books I remember having to read for high school and actually enjoying.  After enjoying a string of recent YA hits like The Hunger Games and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, it might be good to revisit a favorite book from when I was actually a young adult.

BLAIR THORNBURGH: Okay, there is no way I could EVER afford this, because facsimiles are major $$, but in an ideal world…a full-color reproduction of the Lindisfarne Gospels. (Have you been watching Vikings? That book is beautiful). But…in the real world, I’ll probably go for something like Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives (because Monty Python! And the Middle Ages!)

MARI KRASKERod: The Autobiography by Rod Stewart. Not kidding. I probably wouldn’t buy this book unless I had extra cash. But I love Rod Stewart and am pretty much only reading non-fiction these days. I heard it was good read and filled with lots of scandalous gossip on 70s Brit music giants. Besides, who wouldn’t want to know what the hell happened to someone like Rod Stewart in the 80s? I would, that’s for sure. Thanks tax refund!

NICOLE DE JACKMO: Lately I’ve been patronizing the awesome Free Library instead of buying books. And although I’m not getting a refund, thankfully I don’t owe money–so that’s cause for celebration! I’ll be celebrating by buying a copy of “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home“. Summer’s just around the corner and I can’t think of a better way to prepare for it than making delicious ice cream.

ERIC SMITH: I’ve been swooning over box sets featuring hardcover copies of my favorite YA novels. I’ll likely be picking up the John Green box set, or maybe Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy.

No time like tax season to patronize your favorite independent bookstore! We love The Book Trader in Philadelphia–right down the block! (image via flickr)

KYLA SOMERVILLE (intern): The Philip K. Dick Collection. I’ve been planning to get this for a long time… so many books, so little time!

MARGARET MCGUIRE: Blargh, taxes! I filed mine early this year and treated myself to Lean In by Sheryl Sandbergthe Tartine boxed set, and The Complete Calvin and Hobbes.

RICK CHILLOT: I try not to have a refund because that means I’ve loaned money to the government, interest free. Better to owe a little bit, which means they loaned money to me. But if I was getting a big fat refund check, I would splurge it on a copy of The Red Book by Carl Jung. Not because of his kooky mystical theories, but because it’s an amazing work of art that reminds us what a book can be. No electronic version could come close.

KATHERINE MCGUIRE: Oh, God. I’m not getting back nearly enough to actually buy these, but if I had the dough, it’d be these original editions of Source: Music of the Avant Garde that Brickbat Books has kept on offer for several years. Really great documents of the extended possibilities for human engagement with the world of sound and with the art of book-making. Bound-in records! Pieces of fake fur! Musical scores in cartoon form! 35 mm slides!

More in my budget but related? David Hendy’s Noise: A Human History, based on the BBC Radio program I’ve been listening to in podcast–I’ll probably be picking that up on April 15th when I’m at the London Book Fair instead of in line at the post office…Super curious to see what everyone else would want to buy.

JORDAN HANLEY (intern)The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman may not come out until June (squee!) but that doesn’t mean I can’t order it now. As a college student, I have to use whatever funds I can as they come. After reading everything else published by this prolific author, I can’t wait to see what he comes out with next. Gaiman’s last adult fiction novel came out in 2007; as far as i’m concerned, that’s six years too long, Neil!

JENNIFER WARDNo More Perfect Moms: Learn to Love Your Real Life.

What are you looking forward to picking up this April 15th?

Eric Smith


ERIC SMITH is the cofounder of Geekadelphia, a popular blog covering all-that-is-geek in the City of Brotherly Love, as well as the Philadelphia Geek Awards, an annual awards show held at the Academy of Natural Sciences. He’s written for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly, and