Eluding the Bookstore

Little else can make me as happy as a trip to the bookstore. Yet, it’s been a while since I made that trip where I go to one to just be around books. It’s been a while since I stood in a room full of books, admired them, pulled them off their shelves and turned their sweet smelling pages. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I haven’t visited a bookstore at all in these past few months.

It’s just that the few times I have popped into a bookstore, it was with a purpose. It was either to pick up a book that I could not find online, or because I was at the mall and had to kill time waiting for someone and so slid into one of the pop-up bookstores that has about 100 titles that you can pick from. This is not the right kind of trip.

The main reason I haven’t made the “right kind of trip” to a bookstore is because I have spoilt myself with online shopping. This is how it works: as soon as I have a list of potential books for the upcoming month’s reading list, I go online and check out the titles, see which ones are available, the best rates and so on. I spend a couple of days doing this (sometimes even more), and I then place the order.

Now since I am used to going through this pre-purchase process, I feel compelled to do the same even if I visit a bookstore. Unfortunately what this means is that if I am to do this at a bookstore, I will need ample time to research and compare rates. That’s time that I don’t have right now, what with a full-time job, house-hold responsibilities and blogging happening side-by-side.

This merits the argument that if I miss a bookstore, why not visit just for the sake of it? I’ve asked myself this a gazillion times – literally twice every weekday, because I pass two huge bookstores on my way back home. These are two places that I used to visit at least once a week.

So, every day I fight the temptation to just stop the auto (a very popular form of three-wheeled transportation in India), and hop into one of them. The only reason I do this is because my books for the Monthly Reading List would have already cost me over and above my book budget. And buying anymore will just mean a guilty feeling that will hang over me. Also, it would mean less space in my small and compact bookshelf.

As I’m writing this post, there’s a whisper of a thought that maybe I should give into the pangs and just visit a store on my way home tomorrow! Will I do it…?



15 thoughts on “Eluding the Bookstore

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  1. It’s almost a forgotten art, browsing. I remember going in to City Lights in San Francisco and Book Soup on Sunset Strip in Hollywood, Los Angeles. My breath was shallow, I was in a cold sweat. I paused, just inside the door, closed my eyes and took a deep breath, as though to absorb the printed treasures within. Many of the old bookshops in Dublin have closed and, i Must confess, I read books on my Kindle or my iPad these days.You’ve reminded me of what that feeling meant. I don’t know whether to thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment most certainly has me feeling the pang to visit a bookstore more strongly. 😊 I quite miss going to second-hand bookstores where the smells and history of the books is even more alluring. Do you have bookstores that sell used or second-hand books nearby?


  2. One of the oldest libraries in Europe is about 200 metres from where I live. There’s also a museum of antiquities, nearby, and a bookshop in the grounds. Yes, it’s like falling off the wagon, I’m going to hit the streets, drop in to one my old hangouts and score. A book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here in Ohio bookstores have become scarce. My favorite one has since been bought out by an online seller and went out of business. There’s only the mall bookstore left, which is like visiting a McDonald’s. Just not the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad there are other people who enjoy going to a bookstore simply to go to a bookstore! 🙂 I have two friends that enjoy walking around a bookstore just to browse, and I love those outings.


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