Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Trip to the Local “Big” Book Store

I know that when I put things off for a long time it seems to take much longer to do them when I do get around to doing them. This includes “shopping”. I had the car and was out-and-about today. Really I just had to go to the post office but as long as I was out…

“Why not go to Barnes & Noble?” I thought. It has been a very long time since I last browsed a large bookstore. Really, it was just an excuse to see if there was a new issue of Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry magazine. That's as good a reason as any.

The local Barnes & Noble is an older location, you can see in the photo that it isn't fancy. It certainly isn't fancy enough to have a Starbuck’s CafĂ©! Or maybe they just feel the need to add Starbuck’s aroma to the customer's book-browsing experience. Actually, I think this location has smaller overall square-footage than many of the newer locations. Hence the lack of really comfy chairs for the aforementioned book-browsing experience.

 But I was there for a magazine…or so I thought. The magazine racks are really cramped and close together. Not a whole lot of room for “personal space” while browsing. The jewelry and wire magazines were located in the worst possible place; bottom shelf all the way at the back, top row. The magazine titles can't be seen from a standing position because backing up far enough to see isn't possible without getting really “friendly” with anyone standing behind or running into the next row of magazine racks. This was definitely a sit-on-the-floor magazine rack location. Did they even have Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry once I got myself comfy on the floor? They did not. Not a single issue unless the “Best of Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry” counts—and it doesn't because the “Best of…” really contains projects from the issues that I already own. No Starbuck’s, no Step-by-Step. What kind of an establishment are they running here anyway?

I was already on the floor so in what looked like a half-assed attempt at yoga moves, I sat cross-legged and bent all the way over to the side leaning on one elbow while reaching out with the other arm to check behind other magazines to see if there was some mistake. Nope, no magazine. They had a new Bead & Button but I didn't feel like getting that magazine at the time. I should have, the trip would have been way more productive.

Did I leave? No. I hadn't been to Barnes & Noble for a very long time and I was going to make the best of the trip. I looked through all the different categories, mostly non-fiction, though the “dark romances” looked pretty tempting—I should read more. The jewelry books in the craft section were “meh”, nothing I couldn't live without—hardly any books on seed-beading. They had mostly metalcraft and collage jewelry books. I don't really need those.

During much of my browsing experience I found myself saying, “That's available for Kindle…that's available for Kindle…” (There's a Kindle iPhone/iPad app for that). In the past I would have come out with a book…any book, usually a bargain book. The combination of electronic files and lack of storage space has changed the book-buying part of my world forever. I just don't have room for more books.

In the end I spent way too much time browsing the store only to leave empty-handed. If I went more often, maybe every two weeks or so, I wouldn't take so long just looking and catching up on the new stuff!

How about you? Do you spend too much time just “browsing” stores like that, or am I just weird?

I'm actually proud of myself for getting in the car and leaving rather than repeating the time-consuming browsing experience across the way at the local Michael’s!