Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Like a kid in a candy store...

I have a love/hate relationship with Barnes & Noble... mostly love, though.

I absolutely ADORE reading. I always have. During kiddie summer reading programs at the local library, I was always the top reader. I earned those silver stars ever so rapidly. Not that I cared about the contest prize... I don't even remember what any of them were. I just wanted to read and read and READ. Okay, so I'm also a tiny bit competitive, and I just wanted more stars than anyone else.

Today, the girls and I moseyed over to the local B&N. My queue at home is getting short, and I want enough choices when I finish the current novel.

So, what's the "hate" part then?

I always imagined that, one day, when I retired, I would own my own little Book Store Around The Corner, complete with oversized, overstuffed, cushy chairs and sofas strategically placed around the store. Not only would I sell books there, but I would have story time with the little kiddies in the mornings. I might even dress in character for a few of them. Coffee and tea would always be in ample supply. Starting to sound like something from a movie? A not-so-well-written movie that was churned out to get its stars one more romantic plot together? Yeah. Well, that was my dream. But I'm afraid the B&N's, Amazons, and Borders of the world have quashed my dream.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a B&N card-carrying member. Walking in their doors brings to me the type of euphoria that most people seek through chemical stimulation.

But as I wander up and down the aisles, perusing the titles and authors, looking for the items on my book wish list, I sigh a little. Unless I move to some podunk town where a) a store that size would never dream of opening, b) the locals don't know how to use the internet to buy anything, and c) everyone loves to read... I don't see that dream ever coming true.

But why would I want to move to a podunk town where no one knows how to use the internet? No, thank you. Dream crushed. End of story. (unless maybe I get a new dream?)


Jurgen Nation said...

Now this is getting weird. The first two blogs I visit today and both have posts about things I have been thinking about constantly. I was just thinking today that I would like to own a Book Bar. Like, with wine and martinis and stuff. Because, seriously, a book with big fluffy chairs and a glass of wine? BEST. THING. EVER.

goldennib said...

I love B & N. I'm only allowed to go every once in awhile because I forget the time and I spend too much money.

Ludicrousity said...

That'd kinda sad. I love boarders, we don't have B&N here, but the thing is that I think they're overpriced and ridiculous, so I opt for our local libray to get my books (it's free that way!), and borrowing off friends. my friend Anna is a bookstore in herself! No jokes... I have problems with multi national corperations that push the little guys out and leave no room for non multinational competition. But at the same time I think it's great, coz as a comsumer I have more choice and lower prices (sometimes). It sure is a love/hate relationship...

Red said...

I love B&N as well, but I suspect they pump something through the vent. There's no rational reason why I keep buying books when I have 500 at home already to read.

Master Peebody said...

Lol, man that story ended fast.

What books did you get? And yes you have to name the romantic novels too. ;)

hannah said...

Ok. So after I begrudingly watched that movie with my mom, I got to thinking that owning a small bookstore around the corner in New York in autumn would be ideal. There would be well-placed and respectable kiddie street fairs and people would be polite and I would love my little entreprenurial-ness.

After moving here, I found that the closest I could get to this was watching people read the homeless' signs begging for change while they sat in th emiddle of a crowded street fair on 6th Ave, where all the booths and vendors looked the same...tye-dyed smocks, cheap plastic sunglasses, and "fresh squeezed" lemonade line the roads.

Damn you Meg Ryan and your cheeky tales!

Guinness_Girl said...

Jurgen and DCMM, I, too, have that dream. Well, similar: bookstore, wine bar, wine shop, knitting store combo. Well, okay, the knitting part might be overkill since I only know how to make beer coozies and scarves, but you get the point.

I even know WHERE I would put it and what I would call it. Anyone interested in financing my little venture?

Guinness_Girl said...

Jurgen and DCMM, I, too, have that dream. Well, similar: bookstore, wine bar, wine shop, knitting store combo. Well, okay, the knitting part might be overkill since I only know how to make beer coozies and scarves, but you get the point.

I even know WHERE I would put it and what I would call it. Anyone interested in financing my little venture?

Stinkypaw said...

We don't have B & N here, BUT we have Chapters (for the English people) and Renaud-Bray (for the French ones). At Chapters they even have a Starbucks in it and some cozy chairs (that are mostly NEVER available). What I do is bad, I know, I'll go to Chapters, price the book I want then come home, go online and order it from Amazon... Yeah I'm cheap, but I assume it! But there no other feeling then walking and feeling all those books - I love books, it's like a sickness. I'm "sloooowwwwlllyyy" learning to let some go, it's hard because I want them to find a good home... Is that weird? =^..^=

Anonymous said...

Our consumerism is definitely depressing. I buy books from Amazon (no tax, no delivery chg) when I know I want them, but I can't help going to B&N and adding to my stack (or queue, as you call it). I always choose books better when they are in my hands. When I can turn to a page or two right in the center, and see if my interest is caught. Plus the reviews on the internet don't always mesh with what I think of a book.

btw - That's one of my guilty pleasure movies. I don't know why - all I know is that I own it, and every time I see it I love it more.

don't call me MA'AM said...

jurgen: mmm... wine and books. Lovely!

goldennib: I allow myself a "spending cap" while I'm there. But if I have a gift card, I can nudge the cap up a bit, too. :-)

ludi: EXACTLY! I have a choice, so if I choose to spend more so that I can drink in the books, literally, then that's my choice. :-)

red: maybe that's it... pumping some kind of purchase-inducing drug through the vents. Plus, they do also have a Starbucks, so the luscious smells of coffee are rolling through the place. Oh, and the Cheesecake Factory snacks, too. It's uber-temptation for me.

MPB: Actually, I only bought a few things-- an autographed copy of A Necessary Evil by Alex Kava, The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards, a musician's journal (with staff paper, area for lyrics, and guitar tablature), and a book light. I don't really get into the romance novels. Never really have.

hannah: eeek. The cheap plastic sunglasses would do me in. Permanently! haha And maybe the lemonade, too (see sidebar quote).

gg: If I had the money, I'd finance you! The knitting piece brings it all together! ;-)

stinkypaw: yep, we have the Starbucks in B&N as well. I'm not a fan of them either (all corporate giantness, etc), but the coffee vapors while shopping definitely do something to me!

tammara: I do the same thing, but it is nice when B&N sends me personalized emails inviting me to book signings, sending me coupons for free coffee, Godiva chocolate, etc. Hey, maybe they ARE the devil! haha

And, even though I don't think the movie was all that great, there are SOME scenes in it that are very good. When he and the dog come over that bridge at the end, I have to make up an excuse as to why I'm all teary-eyed.

nabbalicious said...

I, too, suffer from B&N guilt. I know I should be frequenting the local bookstore, but they don't have half the selection. Ugh.

Alyssa said...

I think you've got to look at it the other way - as a kid growing up in Indiana, we didn't really have a lot of bookstores (or any). And when Borders first rolled into town it was fantastic because I had this whole world opened up to me.

I still shop at local book places, in fact I'm very tight with Steve at the used bookstore a few blocks away. And we go to specialty stores like Kate's Mystery Books in Cambridge. I don't have guilt - I have lots of books to read.

don't call me MA'AM said...

nabbalicious and alyssa: we don't even have any local bookstores anymore that I can find. :-( There are a few used bookstores, and I'll go do some trades when I have some books I don't want to keep. Usually when I buy mine, though, I want to keep them. Selfish, huh.