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…?