Tuesday night I went to the bookstore for browsing for the first time in a very long while. Most of my browsing has been done online in recent months. When there was a bookstore in our mall, I used to browse there at least once a week (as often as I was at the mall) but since that bookstore closed last year**, I don’t find I’m hitting the stand alone Barnes and Noble very often at all. But I found myself with a 25% off coupon that was expiring last night so I left Josh and Brianna at home and took myself off to the bookstore.
I pretty much knew I was going to buy Jacob by Jacquelyn Frank which released yesterday, but that didn’t stop me from spending 45 minutes browsing the store. So here’s thirteen thoughts or things I observed.
1. I heard two younger kids (maybe 9 or 10) within minutes of each other say “but Mooooom, it’s only $6″ (when told he could only have one book, not two) and “but Mooooom, it’s only $12.95″ when told she couldn’t have the book on dogs because it’s too close to Christmas. I thought it was delightful that they were whining about BOOKS. Of course, *I* didn’t have to listen to them whine.
2. I’m more likely to notice books facing out. I guess this is a given but I was paying attention to my browsing habits.
3. I’m also more likely to notice books at my chest level or higher. I’m less likely to browse down, than up.
4. Covers matter. (dark and sexy will catch my attention every time, whether it’s paranormal or historical. I ignore books I think have bad covers.)
5. So do titles. Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun? GREAT title.
6. And yes, size matters, too. I was more likely to notice a trade paperback when scanning just the spines of books.
7. If you have a paragraph that’s an entire page long–on page 3–my brain will shut down and I’ll put the book back on the shelf (even if you have a great title. See #5).
8. And no matter how great the cover is or how much I love the blurb, if it’s first person, present tense, I won’t even consider reading it, let alone buying it. I’m prejudiced against first person, present tense and that’s not likely to change.
8. I don’t like “cute” paranormals. They just don’t “do” it for me. I like ‘em dark, long and intense. (and yes, I know there are two #8s, I’m cheating)
9. I have a fear of commitment. Maili blogged about something like this a few days back, and indeed, I only ended up buying one book despite my lengthy browsing. However, I now have a whole list of books I wanted to research and see if anyone had read, get feedback on and find out more about the book (thus the bonus Thirteen for today).
10. I spent twice as much time in the fantasy/sci-fi section as I did in the romance section.
10. The bookstore employee who has multiple piercings and tattoos and who I felt bad for immediately pegging as a sci-fi geek? Yeah, totally a sci-fi geek. 15 minutes into my shopping trip, he had another employee cornered (she looked like she wanted to rabbit at any minute) and talking about some sci-fi book with the passion of a true geek (I can say that, I’m a total geek. See #13). And yes, I know there are also two #10s. Anyone noticed my issues with committing to just 13 on these things?
11. There are books out there that I found myself wishing I hadn’t read so I could discover them all over again. Most noticeably, The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe and Poison Study by Maria Snyder.
12. If your name is Laurell K. Hamilton and your book is on a display at the front of the store, like any addict, I will still gravitate to that book, even if I’ve sworn off paying money for your books. I’m visiting my LKH recovery support group this weekend to help with the resulting cravings and shakes.
13. And my thirteenth thought while at the bookstore? I’m a geek for making notes for this blog post while hanging out in the bookstore. Total. Geek.
**My friend Shawn is the leasing manager at our local mall and he told me just last week that he gets complaints every week that there’s no bookstore in the mall. He said they’re going to try to get a Books-a-Million here, in the mall area (not in the mall but next to it, which is better than none at all, I guess).