Choosing Books

There’s absolutely nowhere else on the planet that my heart swings and sings so much than a bookshop. However, since 2007, my first Kindle e-reader, I leave bookshops mostly empty handed. 

There’s something to be said about volumes of novels laid out in front of you, taking up space and represented in colour. I never know quite where to start when I get in the shop, but find myself gravitating to the book charts. This gives me an idea of what others are reading (and buying). It’s an opportunity to see if I fit into community and it’s popular culture.

I then look at new releases, this section is increasingly familiar as I am fortunate to read a handful of books pre-release and I secretly hope the ones I have loved do well. Next I browse the crime thriller and horror sections, I always fervently hope I will find hidden gems here. 

The literary fiction section has me writing down the most titles I need to read. At this point a fierce debate rages in my head between knowing I could get the book cheaper online or free from my local library and buying the well packaged end products of some very serious marketing.

Before I leave the shop I find myself scanning the miscellaneous products for the ever increasingly rare item, the bookmark. The bookmark seems to have disappeared from the shelves of bookshops and when I do make the effort to ask a sales assistant if they have any, I’m met by the negative and embarrassed quizzical expression, as if the concept of marking where you are in a book is a foreign, if not, taboo practice altogether. 

Finally, I leave before I succumb to buying things that take up space and have little functional purpose. 

19 thoughts on “Choosing Books

    • Like most useful bits and bobs, I keep losing bookmarks. I have two now that I’m keeping an eye on. It’s a challenge to find bookmarks for gifts, unless you pay a small fortune and have some printed up.

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  1. I used to leave bookshops with bags of books but, like you, l now buy my books online, mostly as audiobooks or ebooks. I miss the experience of handling the books and walking around the shop with an armful of them.

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  2. I can’t resist stopping in any bookstore I pass. I enjoy reading on my Kindle but seldom do because the physical books always catch my eye first and I wind up starting on one of those. I love the features of my Kindle though – the font sizes, dictionary, highlighting and note taking feature, the light for reading in the dark. It’s a great little device.
    I seldom buy books from bookstores unless I have a coupon or the book is on sale. I use other sources to purchase my books. I just finished listening to a book (in one day) by one of my favorite true-crime writers, Ann Rule. Once upon a time all I read was true crime. Have you ever read, or do you like true-crime books?

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  3. I always enjoyed browsing in bookstores. Now, it is solely an online experience. I select books by looking at ratings and reviews at Literary Hub, themed lists at Medium, annual best books at Paste Magazine and what I discover by chance in articles. It is like I lost a skill though. I did not need reviews when I shopped at a bookstore. I had a knack for always finding books that I enjoyed and still are on my book shelf like The Power Broker or The Mists of Avalon. Now, while I still find books that are worth reading, I find some duds too.

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  4. I love a bookstore above all else as well and don’t even have a kindle even though I have two books on there! Happy to send you a bookmarker for “Oil and Water” if you tell me where to send it.😊

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  5. Bookshops have got to be one of the best things ever! I agree wholeheartedly. It’s sad that they seem to be fading away in our culture (with Amazon and such) but I do enjoy the convenience of buying online!

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