We read...

To know we are not alone. ~C.S. Lewis~

Monday, February 2, 2009


Hosted by the beautifully bookish Becca She asks: How do you choose what to buy from your local bookstore? Do you have a list, or just browse? What is the selection in your book store like? Do you find what you're looking for? Do you feel pressured to buy the kind of books the store makes prominent? (question courtesy of MizB)

Usually I go with a list or at least some idea of what I want to read, this was especially the case while I was studying. Now I'm happy to browse and am happy of the pig in mud variety if I have a voucher to spend. Once I was a bookstore snob (can you believe it?). I would only buy from A & R – the less commercial, more high-brow bookshop carrying a good classics section and not much riff raff. I like to think I’ve matured past this snobbery but inside I really do still prefer A & R. Having said that Dymocks, in my local shopping mall, is much bigger than its competitors; it’s roomy, has a loyalty system that does actually pay and very courteous staff. If I get a book voucher as a gift it’s usually from this shop as it’s more attractive for non-book lovers gift-givers than the small, cluttered one I prefer. Spending my vouchers (YAY!) in the bigger shop has won me over. I do feel a little consumer-guilt but I figure I have enough books to buy to spread the love around.

I don't get suckered by the displays - I'm not a fan of doing anything when it's trendy but one thing that puts me off a bookshop entirely is lack of order. Some department stores for example have their books stuffed on their shelves willy-nilly and it drives me nuts – how can they ever find anything!?! So I don’t often buy from them on un-cost-effective principle.

If I need a book quickly I do as Becca does and use Fishpond which is so totally addictive I have to restrain myself to hard to get items (or second hand which are very cheap so I can buy double the amount). Which is totally Becca's fault (why oh why did you introduce me to Fishpond?)!

Lastly I do have a favourite antique bookshop. It’s about an hour away, we go for an outing as a family, have lunch in one of the yummy restaurants and then go our separate ways – my girls do the craft shops, Mike does Stairway to Kevin (a 1st floor music shop with the best name ever) and Rick and I go to Pickwick’s Antiques...heaven.

4 comments:

Rebecca said...

tsk, I get in trouble for everything!

I didn't know that you prefered A&R to Dymocks. I like both, but tend to favour Dymocks because of the Booklover system, plus they do laybys.

ruthier said...

There was a point in time where I would only shop at the university bookstore here. Then they moved it out to the campus and it's too inconvenient. Now I shop at the chains and smaller used bookstores that are closer to home.

Musing on Bookstores

Bluestocking said...

There's nothing wrong with a little book snobbery.

Musing Monday 25

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

An antique bookshop would be heavenly. I think we have downtown, but I hate downtown. You are right though - stores that have the books all willy nilly with no seeming order - forget about it. Too confusing. My post is up now.

Happy Monday!