When it comes to buying books which store is your favorite? Do you prefer big chain stores or independent bookstores? Do you even have any independent bookstores near where you live? And, here’s the one that’s going to be the most revealing; How often would you say you go to the bookstore? Do you buy something every time you go there?
Oh my! This may come as a complete and utter shock to some of you but… I do not have a favorite book store! It’s sad, but true. I currently live in a fair sized town and we have three bookstores: Barnes & Noble, 2nd & Charles (which recently replaced our Books-a-million) and a used bookstore called Little Red House Books (which is indeed a little red house). While I appreciate what we do have I still think they’re not really for me. They are not what I would call inviting places; they do not beckon me to come in, sit down and read.
Barnes & Noble and I have issues primarily because I used to work there (in the cafe) and a) do not like seeing some of the jerks I worked with, b) their prices are absurd, and c) they carry a very limited selection of hardback books! The entire store is 90% paperback! Which, is more economical, sure. But, if I want to buy a book for my shelves then I want to keep it for a long time and potentially pass it on and so I prefer hardbacks. I won’t even mention how furious I am with B&N online over their ridiculous shenanigans.
2nd & Charles is fantastic for what it is–a primarily used/second hand book store with a sprinkling of new books here and there. They have a large selection of children’s, young adult, graphic novels, clearance items and even a decent amount of worthwhile vinyl. However, it is still a big chain store (owned by Books-a-million) and there’s no where to sit and relax. They even took away the coffee shop! :(
Little Red House books is… well, it’s a mess frankly. I haven’t been in there in years for that very reason. They have an impressive amount of books in that tiny house but no staff member can point you in the right direction in order to find what you need. It’s cute if you have all day to read the title of every book on every shelf but if you don’t then it’s frustrating.
I used to visit the book store (usually B&N here) at least once or twice a month but I did not always buy anything. Barnes & Noble are far too expensive for my tastes. Plus, I work at a library so each time I’m in a book store I feel a little bit of a guilt trip. I was spending far too much money on books–not just in the store, but also online at places like Thriftbooks or Abe Books. It was out of control. Well, for my wallet size anyway. So! I am attempting to (and so far successfully) embracing the library lifestyle. It also really helps that my boss is awesome and has so far not rejected any of my requests! I often times just hand over a list of books I want to read and soon enough she’s ordered them for the library. Save money! Read for free! Still read the new books! Win/win!
Anyway! I like to think that perhaps I just haven’t found my favorite book store yet. I’m thinking quaint, independent bookshop with reusable bags, a delicious coffee and bakery shop located inside. *sigh* One day. Until then, I will keep using my library!