How do you choose what to 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?
You might be surprised to learn that I’m a completely unorganized book shopper. Going into a bookstore is akin to a big fishing expedition for me ~ I’m usually looking for something new by a favorite author, or perhaps for a really creative cover to catch my eye. I wander through the store, mocha latte in hand, soaking up the bookish atmosphere and feasting my eyes on the wonderful displays. I usually carry my Moleskine notebook on these outings, and jot down books to place on reserve at my library, or add to my birthday and holiday wish lists.
Bookstore shopping is a rare treat for me, a reward I give myself on occasion. Unfortunately, there are no longer any independent bookstores nearby…there are several very good ones in Ann Arbor, but that’s about a 45 minute drive. I love the small independent stores, with their personal atmosphere. But I’m perfectly happy to browse around in the “big box” stores as well. For us baby boomers, these big mega bookstores are quite a novelty ~there was nothing like them when I was growing up in the 60’s. So I enjoy seeing people gathering around, talking and meeting over books and coffee.
My local Barnes and Noble has an excellent selection, and they’re always most happy to help by ordering from another store. But I find myself purchasing fewer books these days, and often the books I wish to purchase aren’t published by the large houses, and so are only available on-line. As for the persuasive power of prominent displays – I think I’m rather immune to those. I tend to shy away from the big blockbusters on principal.