Day 6: Describe how you shop for books

Shopping for books has become a bit of an oxymoron. I still buy books, but the process does not much resemble “shopping.”

Step 1 (optional)
Go to the local Barnes & Noble. Get depressed because of the death of bookstores. Barnes & Noble seems to have survived because it became a gift shop/café that sells magazines and the occasional book. There is one remaining independent bookstore but it is the size of a closet and has fewer books than my living room. If a book is not on the NYT bestseller list, written by well-known local author or on the owner’s book group list there is little hope of finding it there.

Step 2

Go to Amazon and fill the cart with the three most interesting books I haven’t yet read by the author I am interested in. Checkout.

Step 3 (optional)

When traveling in Boston, stop by the Harvard Bookstore and remember what real bookstores used to be like. Think about the size of my carry on luggage and wonder if I would rather take home clothes or books.



~ by severalfourmany on September 14, 2013.

5 Responses to “Day 6: Describe how you shop for books”

  1. I am in complete agreement with you. I’m in the habit of overstuffing my luggage with books from traveling 🙂 Fortunately, in Southern California there remains a fantastic bookstore called Vroman’s. They regularly have authors visit to give talks and sign books. I recently listened to the author of Ghost Bride there. My book shopping relies heavily on recommendations from people I trust, and then I’ll flip through them at Barnes and Noble. Of course, coffee is part of this ritual.

    • Hard to beat the combination of books and coffee!

      I miss the readings at the Harvard Bookstore. A lot of Harvard faculty do readings there. It’s right across the street. Sometimes I would go there three times a week. Always something interesting.

      Speaking of recommendations, what’s the best way to get a copy of Simone de Beauvoir’s “Pyrrhus and Cineas”?

  2. I am lucky to have a variety of indie bookstores in my city. B&N is the store closest to my house though and I must say that I too am greatly disappointment most of the time I go to the store to shop. Every time I go there it seems there are fewer books and more gifts and other stuff. So sad.

    • I really miss the days when you could browse around a bookstore and find new and interesting books. We could easily spend the better part of the day at B&N looking through a huge stack of books. Now I wander in and wander out sometimes without ever touching anything.

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