Book Buying And Other Existential Crises

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

27 thoughts on “Book Buying And Other Existential Crises

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…….

  4. 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. 🙂

  5. 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.

  6. 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.


  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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!!

  11. 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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