Other Bookish Things

What I Do When I Go to a Book Store


What better way to kick off the year than talk about book stores? There are a few bigger-known book store chains in Louisville, such as Barnes & Noble and Half Price Books. HPB is one of my favorites; while B&N often has new releases and a wider selection, it’s just too expensive. There’s also a few indie bookstores here, though the most well-known is Carmichael’s (which I haven’t actually been to, but that’s one of my goals over spring break). Like most book bloggers, there are a few things I do every time I go to a book store.

  1. I mill around near the front displays.

If I’m at Barnes & Noble, I’ll spend a bit of time looking at the tables stacked with new releases or whatever book they’re featuring that week. Sometimes I’ll spend a while just looking at notebook supplies or coloring books. Anything really. But at HPB, there’s a lot more to see and it changes every time I go. There’s a shelf dedicated to new-ish releases or Staff Picks, as well as some of the heavily discounted books/CDs/comics. It’s always fun to comb through and pick out which books I’ve heard about or read.

2. I go straight to the YA section.

This is, by far, my favorite section, if only because I stand a chance of actually recognizing authors, titles, and new releases. At B&N, I’m usually looking for new releases or a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while but haven’t found at HPB. At Half Price Books, I like to scan the YA section for a book I’ve never heard of or copies of books I’ve read and want to buy, but not for B&N or Amazon’s prices. There’s a lot of fond smiles and ‘awww, I remember that book’ that goes on at this step.

3. I check for any Diana Wynne Jones books.

This step is exclusive to Half Price Books only. It’s my goal to someday read all of Diana Wynne Jones’s books and while I know I could just order the books I’m missing from Amazon or buy them at B&N, there’s something comforting about finding someone’s old copy at HPB. It’s been pre-loved and every time I find one of DWJ’s books, it’s a small, magical moment. Half the fun, I think, is keeping an eye out for a copy and then finding it.

4. Wander the aisles in a happy daze.

I’m pretty sure every book lover can relate to this. By this point, I probably have a stack of books in my arms (HPB) or a new list of books to get in paperback (B&N) and am just walking around to see if anything catches my eye. This year, I want to branch out, genre-wise, so my wandering might be a little more focused on sci-fi or history books. Most of my wandering is just ambling around the store, enjoying the relative silence and that feeling of stillness small bookstores have.

Actual footage of me in a book store

5. Beg for more time and just one more minute I swear I’m almost done

Sadly, my family often has to drag me away from bookstores. My sister actually timed me when I said “five more minutes,” once. (Note: it was 4 minutes 59 seconds exactly by the time I got out of the bookstore. I wasn’t happy, but I made it.) I could spend hours looking at shelves, just wondering about the books and casually picking them out, reading a page or two, then putting them back unless they catch my interest.

What do you do when you go to a book store? What’s your favorite section?


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