Book Buying And Other Existential Crises

30th January 2012

It would be more than safe to say that I like books.  I love books.  I greatly esteem books.  Sarge says I eat them.

I buy clothes when I need them, or every three years, whichever rolls around first.  I buy or trade books once a week.  And then I go to the library.

A few years ago, I set myself a goal to ‘visit all the bookshops in the world.’  Lofty goals are the truest ones.  I’ve been doing pretty well.  Some personal highlights have been Shakespeare and Company, The Strand, and Heffers.  No, I haven’t been to Powell’s.  Yet.

I’ve even been known to read books about books and reading.  Last week, I read this, complete with a list of more bookshops for me to visit.  I’m also going to work on this list.  And because I’m not picky, this one, too.

Yesterday, after our monthly book-group, Sarge and I went to Blackwell’s, Edinburgh (number 39 on this list.)  We just had to buy next month’s book.  A Steinbeck, yes!  It was Sarge’s idea to get it yesterday.  He is such an enabler.  I love him.

I get short of breath with sweaty palms anytime there might be books to buy/check out anywhere.

Here is the ‘reasoning’ behind this, in list form:

  1.  BOOKS!
  2. All the books I might want to read, I already have, but haven’t read.
  3. Books are so pretty.  Want, want.
  4. I’d like something that isn’t in a 3 for 2 deal.  And two books that are.  So I should pick out something else that has a damn sticker on it.  Because it’s a free book, people.  So Sarge picks out something that I’ll probably start/read first, anyway.  Because he reads slower than I do, and because it’s there, and because he loves me.
  5. BOOKS!
  6. There’s a space on a shelf that doesn’t have a book with my name on it.  Sometimes Sarge creates that space (in alphabetical order) and says:  That’s where your book goes.  Put one there.

And then I feel bad, because I’ve bought all these books when I should be writing one.  That is, finishing one.  It would seem I have issues with finishing things.  It’s a shame I don’t have any issues with finishing a bag of Doritos.  I couldn’t even finish a bowl of porridge this weekend.  Because it tasted like paste.  I told Sarge that I’d eat half and we could use the rest as spackle.  Good deal.

Back to the books, and finishing them.  I should probably work on that.

And because I like to change the subject, where is your favourite bookshop?

Shakespeare and Company

Image via Wikipedia

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No Comments

  • Reply becomingcliche 30th January 2012 at 2:28 pm

    We have a used bookstore here that is enormous. They are a little unrealistic on the price of their popular stuff, but everything else is 50% off the cover price OR LESS! I found The Host by Stephanie Meyer for 1/20 of the cover price, and I can usually find a treasure in their free-bin. Cross the pond. I’ll take you.

    • Reply LKD 30th January 2012 at 4:10 pm

      Sounds like a plan!

  • Reply ameliaclaire92 30th January 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I buy books more than I buy clothes. I go to a used bookstore called Mr. K’s that is just AMAZING! I always find such great deals! 🙂

    • Reply LKD 30th January 2012 at 4:11 pm

      Deals are good. I like buying in bulk!

  • Reply lenleatherwood 30th January 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Love this! Can relate totally. Will buy books over clothes any day!

  • Reply Camylleon 30th January 2012 at 3:01 pm

    The used bookstores around my neck of the woods are pretty scarce. Ok, to be honest there’s not much of anything in my neck of the woods. But… a scant two and a half hours away there’s this place called “Peace of the Past.” Not just used books…used hardcover beautiful olllllllld lovely books. Yessssssss.

    Because the only thing better than a cheap book is a cheap hardcover book. What can I say? Its an addiction…

    • Reply LKD 30th January 2012 at 4:20 pm

      I usually wait for paperback, unless someone gives me a hardback. But those are extra special.

  • Reply Urbannight 30th January 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I to buy more books than clothes. My book budget is bigger. Who needs to buy the newest fashions each season? It’s just cloth. It just covers the body. It lasts long enough if you take care of them. Books are much more worthwhile.

    I typically buy books where ever I find them. I’m at the Mystery Bookstore in Omaha a lot. Partly because my stitching group meets there twice a month. So I sometime order non-mysteries through her shop. I may pick up books at the grocery store or the drug store or anyplace there is a book display and something catches my eye.

    Books are a drug. Books are my drug. This is your brain, this is your brain on books…….

  • Reply emilydev9 30th January 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Favorite? Oh gosh, so many. Powell’s, yes, but also Politics & Prose in DC, the Harvard Bookstore (not to be confused with the Harvard Co-op, which is the U bookstore), Nice Price Books in Carrboro, NC (used)… Really enjoying Heffer’s! and I just found out my next-door neighbor works there. 🙂

    • Reply LKD 30th January 2012 at 4:24 pm

      I think Politics & Prose is on one of the lists in the post. Guess the extra vote means I have to go!

  • Reply Carol 30th January 2012 at 4:48 pm

    On our “girls’ weekend” in Portland in September we visited Powell’s. An absolutely amazing place! But here’s where I confess to having gone digital – bookshelves are full and digital takes less space and is much lighter weight.

  • Reply madamesaslow 30th January 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I worked at a used bookstore in highschool, The Village Book Exchange http://www.downtownsanclemente.com/villagebookexchange/index.htm. The owner is great (she’d buy me an icecream on my break) and their is a great big fluffy cat, Harry, who rules the store. Some chairs are tucked into nooks. Extra bonus, when I worked there, I got to read whatever I wanted to borrow! Awesome.

  • Reply redjim99 30th January 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I spent a lot of time in Shakespeare and Co, and then in the café next door fondling my finds. Love that place.

    Have you been to Hay-on-Wye? bookshop city.

    Basically I like second hand bookshops, bookshops, book fairs. You know what I mean.


    • Reply LKD 31st January 2012 at 9:57 pm

      When we were in Cambridge, I said Hay-on-Wye is next!

  • Reply Laura 30th January 2012 at 10:03 pm

    I buy so many books, it’s insane. And where to put them?!?! We have a local book/CD/Game/Dvd BlueRay/ Coffee store and I love it, get my coffee – then go buy books. They usually have used books for sale, or “bargain books” and thats where I like to get my books.

  • Reply SusanWritesPrecise 31st January 2012 at 1:41 am

    My favorite bookstore is in Denver, CO. It’s called The Tattered Cover and has four floors and an elevator! How I loved to spend the afternoon there.

  • Reply Kourtney Heintz 31st January 2012 at 4:49 am

    I loved Powell’s the best. I love books too. I just got back from two writer’s confences. Filled one side of my suitcase with books. 🙂

  • Reply Hippie Cahier 31st January 2012 at 4:50 am

    My favorite bookshop is the one I own and run. It think it sells scones and hot cocoa in winter and tea cakes and lemonade or sweet tea in the summer. Or maybe not. I spend all day there, just me and my dog. I haven’t decided what kind of dog or what his or her name is. The shop has comfy couches and chairs with funky throw pillows and quiet music plays. On Friday nights . . .or is it Sunday afternoons? . . . a classical guitar student from a local conservatory plays for practice. . .and scones or tea cakes. There is a regular “Take A Book/Leave A Book” day.

    When it’s busy, I’m chatting with the regulars or helping a stranger find something that suits their needs or tastes. When it’s not busy, I’m reading or writing. Or I flip the “Back in an hour” sign, lock up, and take the dog for a stroll. I have a lot of details to work out. For now it’s just a figment of my imagination. My real favorite bookstore is the Goodwill (so you have those?). I always come out of there with an armful of books, most of which I never knew I wanted to read. I rarely spend more than $20 — far less than I would on overdue fines at the library. Libraries — speaking of libraries — have you read Alberto Manguel’s The Library at Night?

    • Reply LKD 31st January 2012 at 10:01 pm

      Sounds amazing and a lot like the one I want to open! Can I work for you, or shall we go into business together? 😉

      • Reply Hippie Cahier 2nd February 2012 at 1:17 am

        Working side by side with a smart, funny, warm, all around groovy woman would complete the picture. Now all that needs to happen is one of us wins the lottery…

  • Reply bingsy baby 31st January 2012 at 5:34 am

    I wanted Randy to write a road trip travel book describing various local bookstores, because every time we travelled that’s what he wanted to find first thing. And as you know, various bookstores have different strengths and stuff. I now give this idea to you. I still think it’s a good one. I’d buy that book.

    • Reply LKD 31st January 2012 at 10:03 pm

      I’m honoured, Bingsy, xox

  • Reply thoughtsappear 31st January 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I haven’t been to a book shop since Borders closed. I’m still recovering. I’ve just been downloading books to my Kindle.

    • Reply LKD 31st January 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Borders was my Mecca, I feel your pain.

  • Reply calypte 31st January 2012 at 6:38 pm

    I need to stop – yes, stop!!!! – buying books – eeek!! I’m running out of space (finally, I appreciate the kindle…!), but I just don’t have _time_ to read everything already stacked up. Help!!

  • Reply Reading Through the Stacks: What’s In Your Fridge? « Gin & Lemonade 2nd February 2012 at 12:09 pm

    […] stuff and good advice.  Thank you, Tina Fey. And I think I’ve added some new bookstores to my to-visit list after reading about the 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World. What are you reading? What […]

  • Reply koneillbrown 10th March 2012 at 8:54 am

    Love books. Love, love, love ’em. If there weren’t so many under my bed awaiting my pleasure the bed would collapse. Waterstones is my best local bookshop, but WH Smiths is a close second. But I do use Amazon when the need arises. Kindle is good, but a book doesn’t need a power supply and a Kindle just isn’t cuddly.

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