Saturday, May 13, 2006

Bookstores are my Weakness

I could spend hours in a bookstore!

When I was unempl... er, between jobs Oct01-Apr02, I spent a lot of time at B&N when I should've been job searching. It was there I spent hours reading the books I couldn't afford. I finished "Fast Food Nation" over the course of a couple days, I read the poetry the Pablo Neruda, and sampled what felt like every CD in the store. It was there that I discovered Norah Jones.

Today, I limited myself to 3 hours spread over the course of two bookstores. There's a really cool used bookstore in DC called Capitol Hill Books, located near the famed Eastern Market. Going to both places are deadly. I try to justify any purchases by first going to the pool, located next door, and swimming a bit before browsing the crafts and food. Before heading to the bookstore, I made a list of books I'd like to look for, hoping that this list would limit my browsing. Let's just say having a list makes things worse.

The bookstore closes at 6pm, so I made sure to get there near closing time so I wouldn't spend too much time there. I was hoping to find a book that I need to read for book club (yours truly is leading the discussion) and prefer to check there first. I try to avoid paying full price for a book. Very rarely will I buy a new book from B&N or Borders without having a giftcard or coupon to save a little $$. I'm frugal, I'll admit it. So the small, wall to wall books, shop is packed with people. I head upstairs to look for other books on my list. I find a few..

..and then I start browsing.

Most of the time I don't know what I 'want' until I'm there. There are a ton of classics I'd like to read. There are a some authors I'd like to read. I judge books by the cover. The bookstore is as cluttered as my mind. Seriously. When I say there are wall-to-wall books, I mean there are wall-to-wall, top to bottom, filling every possible crevasse, more books in the back, downstairs, and in the bathroom. Well, maybe not in the bathroom, but I think to get the idea.

So they didn't have the one book I was really looking for, but I managed to walk out of there with four new-to-me books. I'm a sucker.

I took the metro over to Barnes and Noble and figured I'd find my book at that behemoth of a bookstore. Before looking for it, I had to do some browsing. Finally, 30 minutes later I ask if they have the book I'm looking for - "Thank You for Smoking". With luck, I snag the last copy in the store. So I do some more browsing. I work my way into the music area with no intention to buy a CD and listen to what's new. I stand in one of the rows, earphones in place, listening to a lot of soundtracks. I'm sure I look like a dork in my mismatched clothes, burlap overshoulder bag like a paperboy, and unshaven legs groovin' to the tunes. I don't care. I move up and down the aisle as far as the cord will allow me looking for soundtracks I've forgotten about.

So back to this list. The bad thing about having a list is now I have room to write more. I find a lot of songs I could download and make note of them. I find more movies that I'd like to see and make note of them. It's getting late, so I make note of the artists I'd like to listen to when I get back to B&N.

Until then, I have 5 books I need to read.


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