18 March 2015

The Bookstore Experience

Despite an ever-growing list of titles on my "to read" list, I'm always looking for something new to read. Having an impossibly long list simultaneously makes me feel ambitious  because I have lots to get through and extremely lazy because I haven't got very far through it. Apparently, I enjoy internal conflict. 

Adding titles is difficult when you can't just pop into a bookstore whenever you want. I could pop into the Dutch bookstores, but seeing as my reading level is at children's chapter book, that can leave you feeling a little deflated. When we're up in Den Haag (the Hague) or Amsterdam, I like to make a trip to the bookstores to have a chance to look around and thumb through the books, and over the weekend, Little Man and I made a trip up to Den Haag and stopped in the American Book Center to do just that. 

Little Man went into the shop with a purpose: to find the next book in the How To Train Your Dragon series. He's what you might call a "local expert" on dragons and a huge fan of the "Toothless" films and books. I was a little less focused. I wanted something new but didn't even have an inkling about what I might want. Normally I cruise through the history section, but nothing was really jumping out at me this time. I wandered over to the Sci-Fi and Fantasy section and noticed a couple of dragons on covers - I've developed an eagle eye for them while hanging out with the Little Man. I read the back of one and noticed a praise blurb from George R.R. Martin, which was good enough for me.

We may have a bit of a theme going on here...


I do end up paying more for these books at the shop than if I were to buy them online. But I've come to justify it as paying for the experience as well as the book. The bookstore has become something special, a once in a while thing - like an amusement park. We make a day of the trip and do other special things while we're out.  It's also so much easier to browse and find something new to read when you can page through the actual book than when you try online, and there's something intensely gratifying about walking out with a heavy bag of adventures.

We're fortunate that it's relatively easy to make the trips to the bookstore a "special thing" and that the books aren't astronomically priced. Otherwise, I might actually get all the way through my "to read" list - which I don't actually want to do quite yet.

6 comments:

  1. How lucky to have an English book store near you! I also love to feel the books before I buy!

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    1. I'm so happy we can visit it! I love cruising through and touching everything! ;)

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  2. Wonderful! I was just inside an English bookstore in Amsterdam last weekend! They had a pretty decent selection, but I rarely buy physical books, so I stopped myself from uselessly having extra weight for the trip home. My husband mentioned feeling frustrated at the lack of easily accessible books over the winter. He buys ebooks from Amazon and was reading only on his computer or iPhone. Having heard rave reviews, and I got him a Kindle for Valentine's Day and he can't stop saying how great it is. I had previously thought it was silly not to just get an iPad or other, but the e-ink is really so much nicer for serious reading.

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    1. Oh, the e-ink is fantastic. I have a B&N Nook, but I can't buy online outside of the States, but when we've gone back I've always downloaded a bunch of stuff. I've got a ton of "classics" that I've been taking my time getting through. Amazon's international copyright options are great for downloading wherever you are, so that seems like an awesome present to me!

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  3. I download all of my books now, though I do miss the physical pleasure of actual books. Years ago, I had a serious book habit and would visit Borders every Saturday morning for a long wander through all of the sections (and walk out with huge stacks of books). There really is nothing like going to a book store to find books. Browsing online just isn't as fun or easy. Goodreads is pretty helpful, but nothing beats an actual book store.

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    1. I'm with you 100% on that! I have a hard time browsing online - it's harder for me to feel confident in my purchases, which is kind of silly, but true. I should use Goodreads more often, though - I forget about it so often!

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