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Musing Monday: Bookstores

February 2, 2009

From Musing Mondays: How do you choose what do buy from your local bookstore? Do you have a list, or just browse? What is the selection in your book store like? Do you find what you’re looking for? Do you feel pressured to buy the kind of books the store makes prominent?

Although I try to stick to the library for new books I read and take home with me, I love hanging out in bookstores and browsing.  I live in a nice major metropolis,  so I have my pick of excellent bookstores: large corporate chains, tiny indie bookstores, and the monolith of esoterica that is The Strand.  (Brief aside to be proud of myself for “monolith of esoterica,” spelled right on the first try, before coffee.)  So I’d have to say, between those, the selection of books for whatever mood I’m in is close to infinite.

Because of the myriad choices, I am a huge fan of the tables and books on display.  If I’m browsing and don’t know what I’m looking for, books on display help me sort it out, because they grab my attention.  Otherwise, the unbroken rows of spines can get overwhelming and hard for me to distinguish, if I’m browsing versus knowing what I’m looking for.  Barnes and Noble does a table that’s usually labeled “curious, odd, cool,” which is full of my favorite kind of nonfiction- breezily written, sometimes whimsical memoirs or focused research about courtesans, or oranges, or wandering around Ireland with a fridge I like those tables for pointing out books it might not otherwise occur to me to read.  I don’t always buy them, but I definitely add them to my list at the library, or look for them at the Strand.

If I’m going to buy a book, I feel torn between the discounts I get from the big chains, and wanting to support the smaller, indie booksellers.  So how I buy will vary.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2009 10:04 am

    I always check the display tables and the bargain tables in the aisles too. In the stacks I’m usually looking for something specific, but will find all kinds of cool things I probably wouldn’t otherwise look twice at on the tables.

  2. February 2, 2009 10:45 am

    You are so lucky to have all that selection.

    Musing Monday 25

  3. February 2, 2009 11:10 am

    I’m the same way – get overwhelmed by unbroken rows of spines. Rather have my list and browse the end tables.

    My post is up now.

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